Measure R Accounting and Projection Thru 2026
Through June 2023 (end of the city’s fiscal year) from its inception (April 2021), Measure R has generated $8.3 million of revenue. $1.2 million (33%) has been spent on wildfire fuel mitigation; $1.7 million (46%) on infrastructure (roads and storm drains); $760,000 million (21%) on community education (informing residents on how to protect themselves with their own money) and administrative overhead; leaving $4.6 million unspent.
The city has also projected revenue and budgeted expenditures through 2026. It projects that Measure R will have generated $19.5 million in revenue by then and has budgeted $17.2 million in expenditures. Of the expenditures, 67% are for infrastructure, 13% for administrative overhead and wildfire prevention PR, leaving only 20% for actual fuel mitigation and emergency preparedness.
However, Measure R is a SUPPLEMENTAL tax, supplementing existing taxes for essential services. These include the state gas tax, the county’s Measure J return-to-source tax for road maintenance, the garbage impact fees, and others. These are all infrastructure taxes. While Orinda property taxes fund our fire department, MOFD, with $22 million annually, the city has no control over how MOFD spends this money (and very little goes to wildfire prevention and virtually zero goes to fuel mitigation), so Measure R supplements zero expenditure for wildfire prevention.
From the inception of Measure R through 2026, in addition to the $17.2 million of Measure R revenues to be spent on essential services, the city projects an additional $15.5 million will be spent on essential services from other sources, a total of $32.7 million. Of this, $27.1 million (83%) will be spent on roads and storm drains, with only $5.1 million (16%) being allocated to wildfire prevention (and only $3 million, less than 10%, for actual fuel mitigation). This is for what Orindans said was their highest priority in 2020.