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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA June 3, 2008 Election
Measure H
Temporary Emergency 4-Year Parcel Tax
Alameda Unified School District

2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 11445 / 66.90% Yes votes ...... 5663 / 33.10% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jun 19 1:06pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (51/51)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

To offset severe state budget cuts to Alameda schools, minimize school closures, and protect the quality of education, student safety, class sizes, excellent teachers and staff and to restore prioritized cuts to music, athletics, advanced placement courses, shall Alameda Unified School District levy a temporary, 4-year emergency tax of $120 per residential parcel and 15 cents per square foot for commercial/industrial parcels (see the voter pamphlet), with exemptions for seniors, citizen oversight and all funds staying local?

Impartial Analysis from Alameda County Counsel
Measure H, an Alameda Unified School District ("District") special parcel tax measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to levy a four-year special parcel tax in the amount of $120 per year on each parcel of taxable land and 15 cents per square foot for commercial/industrial parcels, beginning July 1, 2008, to fund the programs set forth in the measure.

A school district has the authority to levy special taxes upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on the special tax proposal pursuant to the provisions of Section 4 of Article XIII A and Section 2 of Article XIII C of the California Constitution and sections 50075-50077, 50079, and 53722 of the California Government Code.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the allocation of the funding revenue is to be used for the specific purposes set forth in the full text of the measure printed in this sample ballot. The measure further provides that the monies collected shall be accounted for separately and shall be expended only for those specified purposes. A citizens' oversight committee will advise the District about proper expenditure of the proceeds of the special tax.

If the measure passes, a special tax will be imposed annually in the amount of $120 per parcel of taxable property and 15 cents per square foot for commercial/industrial parcels, commencing July 1, 2008 and continuing until July 1, 2012. The tax will be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Upon annual application to the District, an exemption may be granted to each owner of single family residential units in which they reside who are 65 years or older or who are receiving SSI for a disability. Real property otherwise exempted from taxation under California laws are also not required to pay the special tax.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail and the Alameda Unified School District will not be authorized to levy the special parcel tax.

s/RICHARD E. WINNIE
County Counsel

  Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters

Events

Forums: The public is invited to hear unbiased pros and cons for the School Parcel Tax Measure

  • Date Tuesday, May 6
    Time 7 PM
    Place Alameda Main Library, Stafford Meeting Room, 1550 Oak Street
    Sponsor Isle City of Alameda Business and Professional Women, Alameda Branch of the American Association of University Women, and the League of Women Voters of Alameda
News and Analysis

Oakland Tribune

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Arguments For Measure H Arguments Against Measure H
Alameda is facing a crisis that could devastate our schools for many years.

Measure H provides temporary emergency funding to prevent the most harmful cuts.

The Governor is cutting $4.5 million in funding for Alameda schools. This comes on top of $7.7 million the District has already cut over the last seven years. Alameda Unified School District relies on the State for over 80% of our funding.

Administration and non-teaching staff have already been cut. The only thing left to cut is core programs and academic instruction. These cuts could include:

  • Closing elementary, middle and high schools
  • Laying off up to 72 school employees, including up to 46 teachers
  • Increasing class sizes across the board, including a 33% increase in Kindergarten through third grade class sizes
  • Cutting the Encinal and Alameda High School athletic programs
  • Cutting music instruction at all elementary schools
  • Reducing Advanced Placement, honors and elective courses that allow our students to qualify for good colleges and universities

Measure H is a temporary emergency parcel tax that will last for 4 years only. It costs homeowners $10 per month. Seniors are eligible for an exemption. Businesses will pay their fair share as well.

Every penny from Measure H must stay in Alameda to prevent cuts resulting from the budget crisis. Measure H provides locally controlled funding that can't be taken away by the State. An Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee and mandatory annual audits will ensure the funds are spent as promised.

Alameda is known for its outstanding schools. These schools have helped enhance and protect our property values. Measure H is our one chance to save the teachers and staff, small class sizes and challenging programs that make our schools great and prepare our students to be successful, responsible members of our community.

Please vote Yes on H.

s/Nicklous Cabral
Senior and Community Activist
s/Lena Tam
Vice-Mayor, City of Alameda
s/Dennis G. Pagones
Owner/President, Harbor Bay Realty
s/William A. Sonneman
Retired Principal, Encinal High School
s/William Schaff
President, Alameda Unified School District, Board of Trustees

Rebuttal to Arguments For
PLEASE DO NOT LET THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S PROPOSED PROGRAM CUTS PANIC YOU INTO PASSING ANOTHER USELESS TAX.

HIGHER TAXES MAKE OUR HOMES AND COMMUNITY LESS AFFORDABLE.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT DOES NOT NEED THIS TAX. They are THREATENING to cut programs when they should be RESTRAINING LARGE INCREASES in salaries and generous benefits. Salaries and benefits have increased by over $12 million (ABOUT 24%) since 2000- 2001. UNBELIEVABLY, SALARIES WERE INCREASED ON JANUARY 1, 2008 and two months later the School District proposed its tax.

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SOUGHT "TEMPORARY FUNDING RELIEF" IN 2001, 2005 AND NOW, 2008. NOW IS THE TIME TO JUST VOTE "NO." THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S ANNUAL BUDGET IS ABOUT $80 MILLION. IF YOU AND I CAN CUT OUR PERSONEL BUDGETS BY 2.5% WITHOUT TAXING OUR NEIGHBORS WHY CAN'T THEY?

THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AND STATE REVENUE AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN BROKEN FOR DECADES. Dublin students receive almost $1,000/year more from the State than Alameda students. Why has this inequity continued since the Navy base closed? Why aren't protestors leading the fight to eliminate THIS VERY REAL INEQUITY? With about 9,800 students it could result in nearly $1 million per year!

THE STATE SHOULD ALLOCATE THE SAME AMOUNT FOR EDUCATION FOR EACH CHILD NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE.

UNTIL TAXPAYERS VOTE "NO" TO THESE TAX BANDAIDS, THE STATE WILL NEVER ACT RESPONSIBLY AND FIX THEIR BROKEN FINANCING SYSTEM.

IGNORE THE HIGH-PRICED PUBLIC RELATIONS FRENZY AND THE MEDIA CIRCUS THAT SUPPORT MORE TAXES.

PLEASE VOTE NO ON MEASURE H.

s/CURT CORNELL
Chair, Libertarian Party of Alameda County
s/TOM PAVLETIC
Board Member, 400+ Unit Homeowner Association
s/NERISSA RAMOS
Resident
s/BARBARA THOMAS
Former City of Alameda Vice-Mayor/Councilmember

HERE WE GO AGAIN, ANOTHER TAX MEASURE IN ALAMEDA FOR A DISTRICT IN PANIC MODE.

Remember the $298 Health Care District parcel tax in 2002? The $189 AUSD parcel tax in 2005? The recent BART, East Bay Regional Park District, AC Transit and Vector Control assessments?

AUSD ALREADY GETS A $189 PER PARCEL ASSESSMENT PLUS 0.0469% OF A DWELLING'S ASSESSED VALUE ($235 FOR A $500,000 HOME) AND NOW WANTS ANOTHER $120 PER PARCEL. Owners of new homes in Alameda would end up paying almost $650 per year equal to about 10% of the tuition for a private grade school.

AUSD HAS ENOUGH MONEY AND SHOULD NOT BE ASKING FOR MORE. Their current budget is about $78 million for 9,779 students; over $8,000 per student and more than the K-8 tuition at the Chinese Christian School or St. Joseph's Elementary School.

THEY WANT TO RAISE YOUR TAXES TO INCREASE THEIR PAYCHECKS. High school principals
-- who work 10 months per year-- have a top salary of $115,000. Of course, that amount does not include the generous benefits. What is your salary and benefit package?

HAS YOUR SALARY AND COMPENSATION INCREASED 24%? AUSD's salaries and compensation budget increased from about $51,800,000 in 2000-2001 to about $64,500,000 six years later; an increase of nearly 24% while attendance was in decline.

THE PROPONENTS APPEAR TO WANT HOUSING IN ALAMEDA TO BE EVEN LESS AFFORDABLE THAN IT IS NOW! With all other taxes rising (not to mention the cost of gasoline), can you afford this tax?

A NEW TAX ON ALAMEDANS WILL STOP STATE LEGISLATORS FORM ELIMINATING FUNDING DISPARITIES. Alamedans have been duped since 2001 into paying a tax for funds that most other school districts receive from the state.

PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN AND VOTE NO ON MEASURE H.

s/Curt Cornell
Chair, Libertarian Party of Alameda County
s/Tom Pavletic
Business Owner
s/Nerissa Ramos
Resident
s/Barbara Thomas
Former City of Alameda Vice-Mayor/Councilmember

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Measure H is a temporary, local funding solution.

Look at the facts:

FACT: Governor Schwarzenegger is cutting $4.4 million from our school budget, which will have a devastating impact on the quality of our schools.

FACT: If the voters of Alameda do not approve Measure H schools will close, teachers and staff will be laid off, and music, sports and AP programs will be eliminated.

FACT: The School District has already cut $7.7 million over the last seven years. Further cuts will be devastating to the quality of education our schools can provide.

FACT: Our teachers have had a pay increase of less than 1.7% per year over the last 5 years -- less than the cost of inflation in the Bay Area, NOT the 24% claimed by the opponents.

FACT: Measure H funds will only be spent in Alameda to:

  • Retain current teachers and staff
  • Keep class sizes at their current level
  • Keep schools open
  • Continue the music and athletic programs our kids depend on
  • Retain Advanced Placement, honors and elective courses

FACT: Alameda's senior citizens can apply for an exemption to Measure H.

FACT: No Measure H funds will go to administrators.

FACT: Alameda has a reputation for quality public schools, which increases the demand for our homes and protects our property values.

Voting YES on MEASURE H is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do.

Please think of the children and vote YES on MEASURE H.

s/Beverly J. Johnson
Mayor, City of Alameda
s/Richard D. Thomas
Past President, Alameda Board of Education
s/Honora Murphy
Senior and Chairwoman, Alameda New Library Campaign
s/Steve Floyd
Alameda Firefighters Assoc. and Alameda Parent
s/William Schaff
President, Alameda Board of Education
s/Dennis G. Pagones
Owner/President, Harbor Bay Realty
s/William D. Sonneman
Retired Principal, Encinal High School
s/William Schaff
President, Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees

Full Text of Measure H
(a) To offset severe state budget cuts to Alameda schools, minimize school closures, and protect the quality of education, student safety, class sizes, excellent teachers and staff and to restore prioritized cuts to music, athletics, advanced placement courses and other programs, shall Alameda Unified School District levy a temporary 4-year emergency tax of $120 per residential parcel and 15 per square foot for commercial/industrial parcels (see voter pamphlet), with exemptions for seniors and residents receiving supplemental security income for a disability, citizen oversight, no funds for administrator salaries, and all funds staying local?

(b) The special tax shall be levied as follows:

(i) (A) On each taxable, residential parcel at the rate of $120 per year, and (B) on each taxable, commercial or industrial property at the rate of $0.15 per square foot per year (but commercial or industrial property of 2,000 square feet or smaller paying $120 per year and commercial or industrial property larger than 2,000 square feet paying a maximum of $9,500 per year).
(ii) The tax shall be collected in each year, beginning July 1, 2008, for a period of four years, ending June 30, 2012.
(iii) Real property otherwise exempted from taxation under the constitution and laws of the State of California shall also be exempted from any liability for the special tax imposed by this measure.
(iv) An exemption from the special tax will be made available to owners of single family residential units in which they reside who will attain the age of 65 years during the assessment year, who owns a beneficial interest in the parcel and who uses that parcel as his or her principal place of residence. Owners must apply to the District for this exemption in the manner and at the time set forth in procedures established by the District. Such application shall be on forms available from the Chief Financial Officer's office. Any one application from a qualified applicant will provide an exemption for the parcel for that assessment year, and with an annual renewal with the District, for the remaining term of the assessment so long as such applicant continues to use the parcel as his or her principal residence.
(v) An exemption from the special tax will be made for owners of single family residential units receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age. Owners must apply to the District for this exemption annually in the manner and at the time set forth in procedures established by the District. Such application shall be on forms available from the Chief Financial Officer's office and must provide information sufficient to verify that such owner is in fact receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability.

(c) The revenue raised by the special tax shall be used for the educational purposes set forth in the measure. The revenue raised by the special tax shall be accounted for separately. Each year, the Board of Education of the District shall, pursuant to section 50075.3 of the California Government Code, file an annual report as provided herein accounting for the parcel tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent.

(d) The citizen's oversight committee established in connection with the existing special tax shall be continued and which shall meet to oversee all expenditures funded by the measure to ensure that said funds are spent wisely and used only for purposes approved by the voters. This volunteer citizens' committee shall monitor the expenditures of these funds by the District and shall report on an annual basis to the community on how these funds have been spent.

(e) On July 1, 2008, and thereafter, the special tax shall be collected by the Alameda County Tax Collector in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are fixed and collected under provisions of the California Revenue and Taxation Code. The special tax shall be subject to the same penalty and enforcement provisions as relate to ad valorem taxes. The special tax and penalty shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem taxes.

(f) The provisions of this measure shall not apply to any person, association or corporation or to any property as to whom or which it is beyond the power of the District to impose the tax herein provided. If any section, subsection, sentence, phrase, part or clause of this measure is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such decision shall not affect or impair the validity of the remaining portions of this measure. It is hereby declared that the intention of the Board of Education of the District and the electorate that this measure would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid section, subsection, phrase or clause thereof not been included.


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Created: July 31, 2008 13:29 PDT
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