League of Women Voters of California
Improvement of Academic Programs
Belmont-Redwood Shores School District
Special Tax - 2/3 Approval Required
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To improve academic performance, attract qualified teachers, improve/maintain instructional programs/technology/classrooms, shall Belmont-Redwood Shores School District impose a qualified special tax of $184/year/taxable parcel (with exemptions for parcels owned/occupied by persons 65 years of age or older upon application) for ten years, at a rate of $92 on July 1, 2001, and $184 by July 1, 2002, adjusted annually by CPI, and shall the District's appropriations limit be raised by such amount each year?
By this measure, the Board of Trustees of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District propose to levy a special tax for a period of ten years beginning July 1, 2001 and ending June 30, 2011. This tax shall be at a rate of $92 per year per parcel on July 1, 2001 and $184 per year per parcel on July 1, 2002, adjusted annually thereafter by changes in the Consumer Price Index for the Bay Area, not to exceed 5% annually.
A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District which now receives a separate tax bill from the San Mateo County Assessor's Office. Any person 65 years of age or older who owns and occupies a parcel may qualify for an exemption from the special tax. All property which would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from imposition of this special tax.
The purposes of the special tax are to: improve academic performance; attract qualified teachers; improve and maintain instructional programs, technology and classrooms; and to preserve elementary music programs.
This measure would also increase the District's appropriations limit per fiscal year, in an amount equal to the levy of the special tax for that year, as permitted by Article XIIIB, section 4 of the California Constitution.
A "yes" vote on this measure would allow a special tax to be levied on property within the boundaries of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District at a rate of $92 per year per parcel by July 1, 2001 and $184 per year per parcel by July 1, 2002 per year for ten years ending June 30, 2011, adjusted annually by changes in the Consumer Price Index for the Bay Area, not to exceed 5% annually. It would also allow the appropriations (spending) limit to be raised.
A "no" vote on this measure would not allow the special tax to be levied and would not allow the appropriations limit to be raised.
This measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes."
|Arguments For Measure B||Arguments Against Measure B|
|Last year, the Belmont/Redwood Shores School District was forced to make over $800,000 in budget cuts. Many programs were eliminated or severely cut. These include: reading specialists, staff development programs, and at-risk counselors. Additionally, there has been a 10% reduction in classroom supplies at each school.
Future cuts will be unavoidable unless we can raise additional revenues. Measure B will raise those funds.
Excellent public schools significantly contribute to the quality of life of our community. Our schools are known for superb teachers, award-winning math, science and arts programs, and state-of-the-art computer centers. These programs not only allow our students to excel academically, they help enhance the value of our homes and the properties in which we have invested.
However, many of these programs are at risk because school revenues are not adequate to continue to pay for a first rate education for our children. State and local funds simply do not provide for the level of investment that this kind of excellence requires.
Measure B will continue our community's commitment to high standards for our students by:
Invest just an additional 50 cents a day in our community and in our children's future. Quality matters in the Belmont/Redwood Shores School District. We ask you to VOTE YES on Measure B on June 5.
Budget cuts?? That doesn't square with the state's Ed-Data web site (http://www.ed-data.kl2.ca.us/dev/district.asp).: The last 4 budgets reported ('96-'99) were $9.6, $11.1, $12.4, and $14.5 million. This year's budget - $17.2 million - doesn't sound like "severe cuts" to us! Even the doomsayers asking for this tax admit that "Our schools are known for superb teachers, award-winning math, science, and arts programs, and state-of-the-art computer centers."
The $12 million bond: $3 million remains unspent from 1997's Measure B. Property owners (and renters) will be paying a surtax to retire that debt and pay interest for another 20+ years.
The cost of living is high enough without another tax! Vote 'No'.
|This is NOT a referendum on public schooling. We all want our public services to be adequately funded and well-run. That's why we ALREADY pay property taxes. Last year, District taxpayers (including renters) contributed $10 million in property taxes to the elementary school district, and other taxes brought the total to $14 million. (http://www.ed-data.kl2.ca.us/dev/district.asp)
Spending $14 million each year on 2500 students amounts to over $112,000 for each classroom of 20 students, or $168,000 for a classroom of 30. That's enough to pay teachers good wages and leave plenty for overhead. - And those taxes keep increasing every year.
This IS a vote on working within a budget. Does the District really need more money than we already give it in property taxes and state and federal income taxes? We say 'No'.
Many of our residents operate closer to the edge of personal insolvency than the District ever has. It is not right to ask them to pay extra taxes because somebody's "classroom technology" proposal sounds "nice".
Please vote 'No', and demand that the District operate within its regular budget.
Second, Belmont/Redwood Shores residents have consistently supported excellence in their public school system and our district has delivered with high API scores and Distinguished School recognitions. But, the Belmont/Redwood Shores School District was forced to make over $800,000 in budget cuts last year, and it faces more cuts next year. To maintain the level of quality education our community demands, we need more than our local property taxes can currently provide.
And third, these opponents of Measure B have argued against every school parcel tax or bond measure in our county on the June 5 ballot. Across-the-board opposition to taxes does not address our local needs. Let the residents of our district determine the needs of our district.
On June 5, we ask that you vote YES on Measure B because...Quality Matters.
|Text for Measure B|
|To improve academic performance, attract qualified teachers, improve and maintain instructional programs, technology and classrooms, shall Belmont-Redwood Shores School District impose a qualified special tax of $184 per year per taxable parcel (with exceptions for parcels owned/occupied by persons 65 years of age or older upon application), for ten years at an effective rate of $92 on July 1, 2001, and the full rate by July 1, 2002, adjusted annually by changes in the Consumer Price Index (all urban consumers) for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Metropolitan Area, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, but in no event to exceed 5% per year, and shall the District's appropriations limit be raised each year, by undertaking actions such as:
a) Improving children's academic performance
An exemption shall be granted for any parcel owned by one or more persons 65 years of age or over who occupies said parcel as a principal residence, upon annual application for exemption.
This Measure will also increase the District's Gann Appropriation Limit in an amount equal to the levy of special taxes for said year, as permitted by Article XIIIB, Section 4 of The California Constitution. This increase is required for the District to use the revenues generated by the tax.
To insure additional accountability, a community budget advisory committee shall be appointed by the Governing Board whose principal functions will be to monitor the expenditures of these funds by the District and to report on an annual basis to the community on how these funds have been spent.