Taxpayer Oversight

MEASURE D – TAXPAYER OVERSIGHT

Accountability is of utmost importance in delivering public transportation investments with public dollars. In order to ensure accountability, transparency and public oversight of all funds collected and allocated under Measure D in compliance with state law, all of the following shall apply: annual reports, annual audits and a taxpayer oversight committee. Decisions regarding implementation of this Ordinance will be made by the Measure D Authority (the Regional Transportation Commission) in public meetings, subject to the Brown Act.

Taxpayer Oversight Committee

A Taxpayer Oversight Committee shall be formed by the Board of Directors of the Authority to review the annual independent fiscal audit of the expenditure of the Transportation Tax funds and issue an annual report on its findings regarding compliance with the requirements of the Expenditure Plan and the Ordinance to the Authority Board of Directors.

Duties of the Oversight Committee will begin, following an audit of the first year of Measure D expenditures.

Per the voter-approve ordinance, the total membership of the Oversight Committee shall not exceed five (5) members and any vacancy which may occur from time to time shall be filled by the Board of Directors of the Authority as soon as reasonably possible.

Members of the Independent Oversight Committee shall be residents of Santa Cruz County who are neither elected officials of any government, nor employees from any agency or organization that either oversees or implements projects funded from the proceeds of the sales tax. Members will fairly represent the geographical, social, cultural and economic diversity of Santa Cruz County to ensure maximum benefit for transportation users. The Committee shall include at least one person with an accounting or fiscal management background.

The Taxpayer Oversight Committee meetings will be announced in advance and will be open to the general public. The voter-approve ordinance also states that the Oversight Committee shall meet at least once but no more than four times per year. The responsibilities of this Committee include:

  • Review of Expenditure Plan expenditures on an annual basis to ensure they conform to the Ordinance.
  • Review of the annual audit and report prepared by an independent auditor, describing how funds were spent.
  • Production of a publicly-available Annual Report of Oversight Activities.

Agenda Notification

Sign up to receive e-notifications when new Taxpayer Oversight Committee agendas packets have been posted to the website.

Meetings

Details will be available after the committee is formed later this year.

Audits & Reports

Annual Audits

No less than annually, an independent annual audit shall be conducted of the expenditure of all funds generated by the transportation tax. The audit, which shall be made available to the public, shall report on evidence that the expenditure of funds is in accordance with this Plan as adopted by the voters in approving the Ordinance on November 8, 2016. The Authority will also prepare a publicly-available annual report on past and upcoming activities and publish an annual financial statement.

Annual Reports

Each agency receiving Measure Revenue shall annually adopt, after holding a public hearing, an annual report which includes:

  1. A 5-year program of projects, including information about each of the projects to be funded with Measure Revenues, allocated according to the Expenditure Plan. Local and regional agencies shall submit their program of projects to the Authority in a format that can be easily understood by members of the public.
  2. Description of expenditures of Measure Revenues from the most recently completed fiscal year. The purpose of requiring the most recently completed fiscal year expenditures is to allow the Authority to prepare a comprehensive report to the public on the expenditure of funds generated by this Ordinance.
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