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New Group Proposes Sales Tax To Support Fresno Parks

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Laura Tsutsui
/
Valley Public Radio
Nikiko Masumoto speaks at the Fresno For Parks event.

  A group is proposing a sales tax to raise money for Fresno parks. The coalition gathered Wednesday to announce their proposal.

The group, Fresno for Parks, is calling for a 3/8 cent sales tax, which would appear on the November ballot. The measure would generate money for parks, as well as arts and trails. Nikiko Masumoto is a local farmer and artist who helped announce the initiative.

“In 2012, a study was released that ranked Fresno as the worst city in the U.S. for parks,” says Masumoto. “Since that catalyst, community members have been organizing to change that reality.”

Larry Powell is a board member with the Central Valley Community Foundation, one of the sponsoring organizations.

“Fresno needs parks,” says Powell. “It’s a simple way for us to begin to build a legacy that will literally last for fifty, sixty, seventy years.”

The city approved a Parks Master Plan in January to outline goals to maintain and improve existing parks, and add more parks to the system. If the ballot measure passes, Fresno for Parks says it will raise $37 million a year.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.