Since 1972, residents of Santa Clara County have demonstrated a commitment to parks by voting to set aside approximately 1.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for parklands. In June 2006 the voters were again asked to renew the Park Charter as amended by the Board of Supervisors and did so with overwhelming support. The amendment to the Park Charter At least 15% of the funds shall be set aside and used for acquisition and at least 5% used for park development with the remainder used for operations and maintenance of the County's Regional Park System. For complete wording of the Park Charter Fund see below:
- Beginning on July 1, 2009, through and including the 2021 fiscal year, the Board of Supervisors shall transfer from the general fund to the County Park fund an amount of money which shall not be less than an amount estimated by the Auditor-Controller to equal the amount that would be raised for that year by a tax of $0.01425 per One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of assessed valuation of all real and personal property situated within the County of Santa Clara. In addition, the Board of Supervisors shall transfer into such fund all fees and revenues generated by the operation of county parks and all other monies received from the United States Government, State of California, or any other public agency or any person for county park purposes. Any interest earned on the investment of money in the county park fund shall be credited to the fund.
- The Board of Supervisors shall appropriate the money in the county park fund for the acquisition, development, or acquisition and development of real property for county park purposes and for the maintenance and operation of county parks. At least 15% of the funds transferred from the general fund shall be set aside and used for the acquisition of real property for county park purposes and at least 5% used for park development for county park purposes, and the remaining funds shall be used for county park operations.
- The county shall not acquire real property for any park purpose until the Board of Supervisors has determined that the acquisition is in conformity with the adopted county parks and recreation element of the general plan.
- This section shall be operative commencing with the 2009-2010 fiscal year (July 1, 2009) and shall be repealed at the end of the 2021 fiscal year; provided, however, any unobligated monies remaining in the fund on June 30, 2021, shall be used only for the purposes set forth in subsection (2) of this section.
- The intent of this section is to ensure that a minimum amount of money will be placed into the county park fund for acquisition, development, operation and maintenance purposes. Nothing in this section shall be construed as a limitation on the amount of money the Board of Supervisors may transfer into the county park fund for county park purposes or otherwise appropriate for county park purposes.