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End to Property Tax Zones Backed

April 30, 1993|DOUG McCLELLAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Saying their community is too small to be divided, members of the Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council voted unanimously in favor of abolishing the community's three property tax zones.

The action, which must be ratified by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, would ensure that all Oak Park residents pay equal levels of taxes for community services.

"It's my sense that Oak Park is a small community, that it's fairly homogenous and that most people look at it as one place," council member Barbara Bronson Gray said. Continuing the different zones "will create an attitude of division" in the future, she added.

The unincorporated community in eastern Ventura County, which has a population of about 13,000, comprises County Service Area No. 4. A portion of Oak Park taxes on property owners goes to fund the service area, which pays for landscaping, school crossing guards, street lighting, street sweeping and other community services. The service area's preliminary budget for the next fiscal year is $458,900.

Council member Ron Stark said the different zones were created because residents of older Zone 1 did not want to pay higher taxes because of anticipated higher landscaping costs in newer Zone 2.

But some residents said Oak Park is small enough that all residents benefit from services in all zones and that Zone 1 incurs some costs not shared by Zone 2.

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