Southwest Riverside County voters reject tax hikes to fund parks, emergency services

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Southwest Riverside County voters have rejected a pair of proposed tax hikes. The revenue would have helped keep cops on the streets of Canyon Lake, and parks open in Wildomar.

Revenue from the $28-a-year residential property fee in Wildomar would have paid to maintain the city’s three public parks. Opponents argued that the city has enough cash in its general fund to at least keep one of the parks open.

But officials say it’s likely the city will fence off all the parks until the local economy rebounds. Wildomar locked up the same three parks 10 years ago during another fiscal crisis.

In neighboring Canyon Lake, voters rejected an annual tax hike of $204 for residential and commercial properties, and $96 for undeveloped lots. The public safety tax might have generated about $1 million a year to help pay for police and fire services. City officials say Canyon Lake won’t be able to maintain existing levels of emergency services without more money.