November 2019 Voters Guide

Every year, states, regions, counties, municipalities, and districts across the country hold elections to generate conservation and recreation funding. OIA leads a Ballot Measure Tracking Group to identify, monitor, and engage in these ballot measures, working to leverage our networks to pass millions of dollars in conservation and recreation funding.

When ballot measures address key issues and priorities beneficial to the outdoor industry, such as conservation and recreation funding, OIA explores and executes the efforts to help jurisdictions pass measures. Our efforts include OIA endorsements, member communications, social media and direct engagement with the local campaigns themselves.

OIA already endorsed the successful August 6, 2019 King County, Washington, mill levy, which will generate $810 million for county and city parks, open space, trails, and recreation. Looking toward the November 2019 elections, OIA has identified the following ballot measures that will help grow local recreation economies. If you live in these districts, we encourage you to vote in favor of these critical funding opportunities.


Scottsdale, Arizona — Bond Questions 1 & 2

Residents of Scottsdale, Arizona, are being asked to consider two bond questions on the November 5 ballot.

The first bond question would pay $112.6 million for 14 identified projects related to parks, recreation and senior services, creating new parks, expanding existing parks and addressing maintenance costs at parks in the community.

The second bond question would provide $112.3 million to fund 20 projects related to improving roadway and pedestrian safety, including the construction of a new bridge with improved bicycle access and supports community spaces and infrastructure.

OIA supports both bond questions on Scottsdale’s November ballot and urges you to vote YES on November 5 to improve city parks and invest in infrastructure that improves safety for all users.

To learn more about Bond Questions 1 & 2, click here.

Colorado Proposition DD – Sports Betting

This fall, Colorado voters will be asked whether sports betting should be legal at the state level, place a tax on casinos’ net sports betting proceeds, and distribute that revenue to partially fund the Colorado Water Plan.

The Colorado Water Plan, released in 2015, identifies objectives, goals and actions Colorado might take to address future statewide water needs. Projects funded with the sports betting tax revenue will depend on the amount of money available and Colorado’s needs at the time.

OIA supports Prop. DD and efforts to fund the Colorado Water Plan to address the future needs of our state. The 10 percent tax on casinos’ net sports betting proceeds is projected to generate $15 million for the water plan annually. While the Colorado Water Plan will require additional funding streams, Proposition DD is a step toward securing the state’s future water demand.

OIA urges you to vote YES on Prop. DD to begin funding projects to ensure Colorado is able to meet the demands of the state’s water needs.

To learn more about Prop DD, click here.

Scarborough, Maine — Land Acquisition Reserve Fund Bond

On November 5, voters in Scarborough, Maine, will vote to renew a $2.5 million bond for the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund. The fund allows Scarborough Town Council to respond quickly to opportunities to protect important lands that might be sold off for development.

Since 2000, Scarborough has had a voter-approved source for conservation that has generated over $5 million. Scarborough voters have renewed this bond three times since its inception. Since 2000, the fund has leveraged an additional $4 million in outside funding for conservation. The bond will maintain the average cost on homeowners of about $14 a year.

OIA is supportive of the renewal of the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund because of its history of success leveraging additional funding and work to conserve land in the community, and urges you to vote YES to renew the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund on November 5.

To learn more about the Land Acquisition Reserve Fund, click here.

Tulsa, Oklahoma — Improve Our Tulsa: Three Ballot Measures

On November 12, a week after the general election, voters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will consider a $639 million infrastructure package. Funding for parks and recreation accounts for $30 million of the proposed spending with funding dedicated to maintenance and rehabilitation initiatives throughout Tulsa’s parks system.

The infrastructure package proposes a temporary sales tax for streets, infrastructure and city equipment and facilities – where parks and recreation would receive its revenue.

OIA supports Improve Our Tulsa and the investments the proposed package will make not only for Parks and Recreation, but investments for Bicycle-Pedestrian Infrastructure ($5 million), ADA improvements for City Parks ($3 million) and Economic Development Infrastructure ($6.5 million).

OIA urges you to vote YES on Improve Our Tulsa on November 12 to invest in necessary infrastructure and maintenance.

To learn more about Improve Our Tulsa, click here.

Portland Metro, Oregon — Parks and Nature Ballot Measure

In November, Portland Metro voters will be asked to consider a $475 million parks and nature bond to purchase land, restore habitat, complete trails and reduce the impacts of climate change across Portland Metro’s 17,000 acres of parkland.

This bond will distribute funds to six key areas:

  • Land purchase and restoration – $155 million
  • Metro park improvements – $98 million
  • Nature in Neighborhoods grants – $40 million
  • Local parks and nature projects – $92 million
  • Walking and biking trails – $40 million
  • Complex community projects – $50 million

OIA supports this bond because it will not increase the tax rate for property owners while addressing the needs of recreational infrastructure. If passed, the bond would maintain the current tax rate of $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed value.

OIA urges you to vote YES on the Parks and Nature Ballot Measure to invest in local and community projects, expand multi-use trail networks and reduce the impact of climate change at the neighborhood level.

To learn more about the Parks and Nature Ballot measure, click here.

Dorchester County, South Carolina — Referendum for Parks

Voters in Dorchester County, South Carolina, will be asked if the county should issue a $38 million general obligation bond to acquire land, design and construct new parks, trails and recreational facilities in the county.

If approved, the county would impose a 2.6 mill increase to residents’ property tax to pay off the bond, beginning in 2020, equating to about $16 per $100,000 of property value.

OIA supports Dorchester County’s Referendum for Parks to improve recreation facilities, construct new parks and trails and provide the people of North Charleston and Dorchester County access to the benefits of local outdoor recreation.

We urge you to vote YES on the Referendum for Parks on November 5.

To learn more about the Referendum for Parks, click here.

Texas — Prop. 5  Constitutional Millage

Texas dedicates a portion of the sales tax revenue generated by the sale of sporting goods toward the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Historical Commission, to accommodate the state parks’ 10 million annual visitors, and ensure recreation and education throughout the state.

In recent years, these dedicated funds have been misappropriated into the general fund. This fall, Texas voters will be asked to consider Proposition 5, which will end this misappropriation and ensure that revenues generated from the sale of sporting goods are appropriated toward the state’s system of state parks and historic sites.

OIA supports Prop. 5 and urges you to vote YES because the measure will address parks and historic sites funding without increasing taxes for Texans, and ensure outdoor recreation and educational opportunities that maintain the rich heritage of the state.

To learn more about Prop. 5, click here