This is an archive of a past election.|
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Redwood City School District
Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required
Fail: 7,300 / 63.6% Yes votes ...... 4,181 / 36.4% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To protect the quality of education in Redwood City elementary and middle schools; retain qualified teachers; maintain classroom science and technology programs; keep school libraries open; preserve art, music, physical education classes, and continue reading/math tutoring; shall Redwood City School District levy an annual tax of $91 per parcel, for 5 years only, with independent oversight, an exemption available for seniors, no money for administrator salaries, and all funds staying local to benefit neighborhood K-8 schools?
By this measure, the Board of Trustees of the Redwood City School District proposes to levy a special tax for a period of five years beginning August 1, 2009 and ending July 30, 2014. This tax shall be at a rate of $91 per year per parcel on all taxable parcels in the District.
A parcel shall be defined as any unit of real property in the District which receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from San Mateo County tax collection officials. Any property owner aged 65 years or older may qualify for an exemption from the special tax if that property owner occupies the parcel. All property which would otherwise be exempt from ad valorem property taxes will also be exempt from the imposition of the tax.
The levy and collection of the special tax is not intended to decrease or offset any increase in local, state, or federal government funding sources that would otherwise be available to the District at any time during which the tax may be levied. In the event that the levy and collection of the tax does have such an effect, the District shall reduce the tax levy to the extent of any such decrease or offset.
The stated purposes of the special tax are to: attract and retain teachers and staff; maintain science and technology programs; keep school libraries open; maintain art, music, and physical education classes; and maintain tutoring for math and reading.
The proceeds of the special tax shall be placed into a special account. An independent citizens' oversight committee will be established to monitor the expenditures of the parcel tax revenues. An annual report is required that accounts for the parcel tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent.
A "yes" vote on this measure would allow a special tax to be levied on property within the boundaries of the Redwood City School District for a period of five years beginning August 1, 2009 and ending July 30, 2014 in an amount of $91 per year per taxable parcel. The special tax would be used to: attract and retain teachers and staff; maintain art, music, and physical education classes; keep school libaries open; and maintain tutoring for math and reading.
A "no" vote on this measure would not allow the special tax to be levied.
This measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes."
|Arguments For Measure E||Arguments Against Measure E|
|Parents, teachers, and civic leaders throughout our community urge you to VOTE YES on Measure E to protect the quality of education in Redwood City elementary and middle schools.
Our community is fortunate to have exceptional teachers, small class sizes, and challenging academic programs that have helped improve academic performance in recent years. Since 1999, test scores have risen dramatically at every school in Redwood City.
But Redwood City School District, like many in California, is facing severe budget cuts due to the current state budget crisis. Over the past 5 years, the school district has been forced to cut $4.2 million in academic programs and services. Cuts have been made as far away from the classroom as possible. Without additional revenue, the quality of our local schools will suffer.
Measure E will provide stable, locally controlled funding for the Redwood City schools and help avoid further devastating cuts. Measure E MAINTAINS current programs; it does not establish new ones.
Measure E will:
Every Measure E penny will stay in our community to benefit local K-8 schools. This money cannot be taken away by the State.
Measure E will last 5 years only. An Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will ensure funds are spent properly. Senior citizens are eligible for exemption to ensure this measure is not a burden to those living on fixed incomes.
Good schools are the foundation of a quality community. Good schools protect property values which is more important now than ever. Please cast your vote to protect the quality of education in our neighborhood K-8 schools.
PLEASE - VOTE YES on E.
They put parcel taxes on the ballot in 1993 and 2005, making similar claims of belt tightening and impending spending cuts.
Both measures failed by sizable margins - and revenue growth averaged 6.4% per year without them!
Madness may reign in Sacramento but steady growth in local property taxes sustains our schools.
Moreover, the county-administered "Education Revenue Augumentation Fund" (ERAF) was created to offset potential losses in state funding with additional property tax money taken from local cities.*
General Fund Revenue Per Student**
Student attendance declined 5% during this time but teachers increased 33% --- and that doesn't include 417 non-teachers on the payroll!
While revenue more than doubled, salaries for administrators and supervisors more than tripled to over $4 million per year. The proposed parcel tax would bring in only $2.3 million.
There is nothing so permanent as a temporary tax:
We already pay for 2 bonds in the Redwood City School District ($66 million + interest); 2 more for the San Mateo County Community College District, and 4 more for the Sequoia Union High School District.
Parents would be better off voting against Measure E and spending the money on their own children.
|Do you hear an echo?
Measure E is a calculated exercise in telling you what you want to hear.
The board spent over $100,000* on pollsters and political consultants, carefully crafting their campaign to raise your taxes, and to convince you that they want what you want.
But do they?
Read the fine print.
Measure E does not tie the tax to the ballyhooed bullet points!
On the contrary, it says that the money should be spent "in accordance with the priorities established by the Board of Education." No doubt the "bullet point" items exist somewhere in that list of priorities, but Measure E would implement them only "to the extent of the funds available."
"No money for administrator salaries"??
We find so much provision in the measure! But money from Measure E would permit trustees to reallocate that much money from unrestricted funds to anything they desired, regardless of any such provision. It's a shell game.
Senior Citizens' Exemption Gimmickry:
The board has specified that seniors must apply for the exemption every year - probably hoping they will forget!
The "independent community oversight committee" would be appointed by the trustees and report to the trustees.
Do the math: That's $455 in new parcel taxes over the next 5 years!
Many people need that money to pay their bills.
Annual property taxes going to the RCSD already exceed $1,200 per parcel (on average) and that doesn't count state taxes.
State taxpayers are facing $13 billion in tax increases, in part to "bail out" California schools.
The feds are spending $8 billion to "bail out" California schools (with higher taxes to follow).
Who's going to bail out the taxpayers?
Please vote NO before it gets any worse.
Here are the facts:
Redwood City School District has already cut $4.2 million in educational programs.
Measure E MAINTAINS current programs; it doesn't establish new ones.
Measure E won't solve all our problems created by the State budget crisis but it will help. Redwood City School District may still have to cut millions of dollars next year -- even with Measure E. At risk are: teaching positions, class sizes, and essentials like reading, math, art and music, as well as science and technology programs that better prepare our students for high school and future careers.
The District has already cut administraors to the bare minimum. NO funds from Measure E can be spent on administrators' salaries.
Senior citizens will, in fact, be eligible to apply for full exemption from Measure E.
Strict controls will be built into this measure. All Measure E funds will be kept in a separate account and audited annually to ensure they are only used as voters intended. Independent community oversight and reports to the community will ensure transparency and accountability.
Redwood City School District is not unique. Surrounding communities have passed similar measures to provide stable funding for local schools and protect property values.
ALL Measure E funds will stay in our community to benefit our local children.
Support quality schools. Protect property values.
PLEASE - VOTE YES ON E.
|Full Text of Measure E|
|This proposition may be known and referred to as the "Redwood City School District Parcel Tax Act of 2009" or as "Measure E."
TERMS AND PURPOSES
Upon approval of two thirds of those voting on this measure, the Redwood City School District (the "District") shall be authorized to and shall levy a qualified special tax of $91 per year on each parcel of taxable real property in the District in each year commencing August 1, 2009, for a period of five years, ending July 30, 2014.
Monies raised under this Act shall be authorized to be used only to provide financial support to local school programs in accordance with the priorities established by the Board of Education and to the extent of available funds, including to:
In order to provide tax relief to senior citizens in the community, any parcel owned and occuped by a person 65 years of age or older shall be exempt from the Redwood City District Parcel Tax upon proper application to the District. The exemption shall be available pursuant to procedures to be prescribed by the District's Board of Trustees or as otherwise required by law or by the San Mateo County Tax Collector.
Independent Annual Audit: Upon the levy and collection of the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax, the Board of Education shall cause an account to be established for deposit of the proceeds, pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.1. For so long as any proceeds of the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax remain unexpended, the Superintendent or chief financial officer of the District shall cause an independent financial auditor to prepare a report to be filed with the Board of Education no later than December 31 of each year the tax is in effect, stating (1) the amount collected and expended in such year; and (2) the status of any projects and descriptions of any programs funded. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period, as the Superintendent shall determine and may be incorporated into or filed with the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board of Education.
(To insure additional accountability, an independent community oversight committee of volunteers shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to oversee all expenditures funded by the measure and to advise the Board of Trustees regarding the proper expenditure of the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax proceeds.)
The Redwood City School District Parcel Tax shall be levied for a period limited to five years, commencing August 1, 2009.
LEVY AND COLLECTION
The Redwood City School District Parcel Tax shall be collected by the San Mateo County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner and shall be subject to the same penalities as ad valorem property taxes collected by the Treasurer-Tax Collector. Unpaid taxes shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid. The collection of the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax shall not decrease the funds available from other sources of the District in any period from the effective date hereof.
"Parcel of taxable real property" shall be defined as any unit of real property in the District which receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the San Mateo County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office. All property which is otherwise exempt from or on which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax in such year. Parcels owned and occupied by persons 65 years of age or older are exempt from the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax as described above.
The District shall annually provide a list of parcels which the District has approved for a Senior Citizen Exemption from the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax as described above to the San Mateo County tax collection officials. The San Mateo County Assessor's determination of exemption or relief for any reason of any parcel from taxation, other than through the Senior Citizen Exemption, shall be final and binding for the purposes of the Redwood City School District Parcel Tax. Taxpayers wishing to challenge the County Assessor's determination must do so under the procedures for correcting a misclassification of property pursuant to Section 4876.5 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code or other applicable procedures. Taxpayers seeking a refund of Redwood City School District Parcel Taxes paid shall follow the procedures applicable to property tax refunds pursuant to the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
The District's Board of Trustees hereby declares, and the voters by approving this measure concur, that every section, paragraph, sentence, and clause of this measure has independent value, and the Board of Trustees and the voters would have adopted each provision hereof regardless of every other provision hereof. Upon approval of this measure by the voters, should any part be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.