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Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Proposition O
Parcel Tax
South Bay Union Elementary School District

2/3 Approval Required

Fail: 8,288 / 59.7% Yes votes ...... 5,591 / 40.3% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To maintain and improve academic programs including math, science, music, arts, reading and writing; retain highly qualified teachers; provide clean and safe schools; and minimize future class-size increases; shall South Bay Union School District raise $1.7 million per year for four years through a parcel tax at a rate described in the voter pamphlet, provided there is independent citizens' oversight and all funds are spent on neighborhood schools and cannot be taken by the State and used elsewhere?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "YES" vote is a vote in favor of authorizing the South Bay Union School District to levy a special tax on parcels of land within the District.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "NO" vote is a vote against authorizing the South Bay Union School District to levy a special tax on parcels of land within the District.

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
This proposition, if approved by two-thirds of qualified electors voting on the proposition, will authorize the South Bay Union School District ("District") to levy a special tax on each parcel of land within the District. The special tax will be levied in an equal amount to produce total special tax receipts in an amount not to exceed $1.7 million per fiscal year for four years, beginning July 1, 2011. The actual special tax will be determined annually by an independent financial consultant but cannot exceed $96 per parcel per year.

For purposes of this proposition, a parcel is defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector. However, parcels designated as multi-family residential that contain 2 to 4 units shall constitute 2 parcels and those parcels containing 5 or more residential units shall constitute 5 parcels.

If approved by two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on the proposition, the special tax described above will be collected by the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Any property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from the qualified special tax.

The proceeds of the special tax can only be used for specified purposes identified in the Full Text of the Ballot Measure and such proceeds will be placed into a special account. An independent community oversight committee will be established to advise on the expenditures of funds and report out on how the revenue has been spent. State law requires the District to submit an annual report detailing the special tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent. The District has made this ballot proposition subject to these requirements.

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Arguments For Proposition O Arguments Against Proposition O
Proposition O will provide South Bay Union School District a source of guaranteed locally controlled funding for academic programs such as math, science, reading and writing and will help the District retain quality teachers. By law, Proposition O funds can only be used to improve our neighborhood schools and cannot be taken by the State and spent elsewhere.

By providing a reliable source of locally controlled funding, Proposition O will allow our schools to continue to focus on academic excellence in our classrooms, and to prepare our children for the future.

Proposition O will:

  • Maintain and improve core academics such as math, science, reading and writing;
  • Retain highly qualified and experienced teachers;
  • Provide clean and safe classrooms;
  • Minimize future class-size increases;
  • Help protect art and music instruction.

Proposition O protects taxpayers and will:
  • Be limited to only four years;
  • Require by law that all funds must be spent locally and not be taken by the State and spent elsewhere;
  • Establish a citizen's oversight committee to ensure funds are spent as promised;
  • Restrict spending so funds are used for academics and not administrative salaries.

Our neighborhood schools are our community's most important asset and number one priority. Funding from Proposition O can be spent only on our neighborhood schools in South Bay Union School District and is not part of the proposed San Diego USD parcel tax. Proposition O deserves our support. Top quality teachers, strong academic programs and community support have kept our schools strong. Now, we need your support more than ever.

Please join us in working to uphold the quality of our schools and our community by voting YES ON PROPOSITION O!

SWTA President/6th Grade Teacher
Local Businessman
SBUSD Alumni/USA Olympian
Retired Teacher

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Don't believe false promises
Don't think Proposition O will ONLY pay for critical classroom programs for our kids. NOT TRUE. Read the ballot carefully. The school district can spend the parcel tax on ANYTHING that "improves neighborhood schools" including "retaining quality teachers." That is code for INCREASED salaries and pensions. Not ONE DIME is set aside for specific programs in math, science or reading.

No accountability for YOUR tax dollars
Don't be fooled by terms like "Taxpayer Safeguards". Prop O has NO safeguards to hold the School Board accountable to spend your tax dollars as promised. The District doesn't need ANOTHER committee with no powers to hold the District responsible for spending YOUR money. This tax increase measure also fails to require performance and accountability metrics for allocation of funds.

School districts need to live within their means
Homeowners already pay plenty in property taxes to help fund our schools. The District just asked voters to increase property taxes in 2008. Prop O will increase property taxes twice in two years! When we can't afford to pay our bills, we cut back spending. When our school district can't afford to pay its bills, it asks for more of YOUR tax dollars. Prop O offers no guarantees money will be spent on students. Voting NO on Prop O holds their feet to the fire and demands the reforms needed to help our students.

Opposed by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.


San Diegans Against Government Waste
Retired High School Teacher
Retired Military
President and CEO
San Diego County Taxpayers Association
Budget/Policy Analyst
Worst possible time to increase taxes
The School Board wants to increase your taxes when working families are struggling to make their mortgage payments, and unemployment is in the double-digits. The School Board should learn to live within its means, just like the rest of us.

The district raised taxes for school bonds just two years ago
Voters just approved a large school bond measure two years ago, Proposition X. But now the school board is back for more. It seems that the school board is treating property owners as their handy ATMs. Instead of asking for tax increases, the District needs to reduce costs and streamline operations.

Tax Increase might end up shifting funds to pay and pension increases
While the money this tax would raise is targeted to certain needs, there is no guarantee any of these areas will see increases in funding. Existing funds can be freed up to be spent on just about anything the district desires + including pay raises and pensions.

This parcel tax hits lower-income residents hardest
The people who can least afford this tax increase will be hurt the most because you pay the same amount whether you live in a small condo or a huge multi-million dollar estate. Likewise, a "mom & pop" shop could pay the same amount as a billion dollar corporation. The tax is imposed even on vacant properties.

School board needs to control district costs
If the Board would demand reasonable concessions from labor union bosses and bureaucrats, it wouldn't need to hit taxpayers with yet another bill. The District can save millions through modest reforms. This tax is a simple money grab + the District has no plan to balance its budget after this "temporary" tax ends.

Vote NO on Prop O.

Visit for more info.

Property Manager
Retired Educator
Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters
Property Manager/Owner
Chairman, San Diego County Taxpayers Association

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Our community is a special place, known for strong families and a commitment to taking care of its own. And today the children of South Bay Union School District need your help.

We all know we can no longer count on the State to solve our problems. Proposition O provides us with LOCALLY CONTROLLED FUNDING THAT, BY LAW, MUST BE SPENT ON OUR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS AND CANNOT BE TAKEN BY THE STATE AND SPENT ELSEWHERE.

The facts:

  • Proposition O funds will support continuing academic excellence by keeping class sizes small and retaining excellent teachers.

  • Measures like Proposition O are specifically authorized under Proposition 13 so that communities like ours can take control of their finances.

  • Proposition O funds will not pay for administrator salaries, salary increases or pensions.

  • The District has made + and continues to make + significant cuts in all areas of our budget.

  • Proposition O will last for only four years.

  • Independent Citizen's Oversight Committee and mandatory annual audits will ensure Proposition O funds are spent as promised.

Quality schools are the cornerstone of our community. As citizens and taxpayers, we have all benefited from past generations' investment in our schools. Now, it's our turn to see that our children receive the education they deserve.

Vote YES on Proposition O.

Community Member
Community Member/Alumnus
President, SBUSD Ed. Foundation
Parent/Community Member

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