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Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Measure E
Emergency Neighborhood School and Teacher Retention Measure
Los Angeles Unified School District

Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

Fail: 198,586 / 52.95% Yes votes ...... 176,459 / 47.05% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jul 2 1:59pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (2,193/2,193)
Information shown below: Summary | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To offset severe state budget cuts; promote student achievement in reading/mathematics/science/arts; maintain vocational education/job training programs; limit class size increases; reduce teacher/staff layoffs; keep schools safe/bathrooms clean; shall the Los Angeles Unified School District levy a temporary $100 annual education parcel tax ending after four years, exempting low-income seniors, no money for central district administrators' salaries, mandatory audits, with all funds going to neighborhood schools?

Summary Prepared by League of Women Voters
of Los Angeles:
The Question

Should the Los Angeles Unified School District ("LAUSD") levy a temporary $100 annual education parcel tax?

The Situation

The LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation. In addition to the city of Los Angeles, the LAUSD includes schools in a number of neighboring cities, such as San Fernando, Bell, Huntington Park, Gardena and others. The District's budget comes primarily from state and federal sources, and is particularly sensitive to changes in state funding. The LAUSD faces a $640 million shortfall in its 2010-2011 budget.

The law (Proposition 13 of 1978) does not allow local districts to levy a tax based on the value ("ad valorem") of the property being taxed, but does allow Districts to levy a parcel tax, which is not based on the value of the property, if approved by a 2/3 majority vote.


Measure E would authorize a $100 per year parcel tax, to be levied on every parcel of taxable real property in the District that receives a separate tax bill. The tax would be levied for a four-year period, beginning on July 1, 2010 and ending on July 1, 2014.

A Senior Citizen tax exemption could be granted on any parcel owned and occupied as a principal residence by one or more low-income persons age 65 or over.

Fiscal Effects

The tax is expected to generate $95.2 million in each of the four years in which it is in effect.

A YES vote means:

The owners of each taxable property within the boundaries of the LAUSD (with the exception of those who qualify for the Senior Citizen exemption) would pay a tax of $100 per year for four years, from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014.

A NO vote means:

This tax would not be levied, and the District would not receive the additional $95.2 million per year.

Supporters Say

  • This tax will offset severe state budget cuts, which have drastically reduced the amount of revenue coming to the District.
  • All funds from this measure would be used for educational programs, with no money going to administrators' salaries.
  • This measure will reduce the need for further teacher layoffs and will limit increases in class size.

Opponents Say
  • A parcel tax is unfair. The owner of a modest single-family residence would pay the same tax as the owner of a large commercial property.
  • The measure is too vague as to the specifics of how the money would be spent, and there is no guarantee that none of the funds would go to administration.
  • In 2008, voters approved LAUSD Measure Q, a $7 billion construction bond. In these difficult economic times, the District should not ask property owners to pay even more taxes on top of those they are already paying as a result of the passage of Measure Q.

Impartial Analysis from Andrea Sheridan Ordin, County Counsel
Approval of Measure E would authorize the Board of Education ("Board") of the Los Angeles Unified School District ("District") to levy a special parcel tax ("Tax") of $100 per year for four (4) years commencing on July 1, 2010, on each parcel of taxable real property in the District.

The Tax revenues would be used for working towards every student achieving reading at grade level, reducing additional teacher layoffs, including math, science and English teachers, keeping bathrooms and schools clean and safe, maintaining vocational education and job training programs, forestalling further increases in class size, and alleviating cuts to school police officers, counselors and nurses.

An exemption from the Tax may be granted on any parcel owned by one or more low-income persons 65 years of age or over who occupies the parcel as a principal residence, upon application. A parcel of taxable real property is any unit of real property in the District that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector. All property that is otherwise exempt from or on which no ad valorem property taxes are levied in any year shall also be exempt from the Tax in such year. The Los Angeles County Assessor's determination of exemption or relief of any parcel from taxation shall be final and binding for purposes of the Tax.

The proceeds of the Tax shall be applied only for the specific purposes identified in the Measure, and shall be deposited into a separate account. No later than January 1 of each year while the tax is in effect, commencing January 1, 2011, the chief fiscal officer of the District shall prepare and file with the Board a report detailing the amount of funds collected and expended during the prior fiscal year, and the status of any project or description of any program authorized by this Measure.

The Taxes levied under this Measure shall be collected by the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector at the same time and manner, and subject to the same penalties, as ad valorem property taxes. Unpaid taxes shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes. The collection of the Tax shall not decrease the funds available from other sources of the District.

This Measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage.

  Official Information

L.A. Unified School District

Limited parcel tax exemption for low-income seniors
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Arguments For Measure E Arguments Against Measure E
Our local schools face a serious crisis. Local and statewide budget cuts are damaging our schools' ability to provide a higher-quality education for students.

Over the past two years, the state legislature has cut $1.3 billion from local schools, and is expected to cut several hundred million dollars more. In total, these unprecedented cuts will have forced our schools to lose more than 8,000 essential school employees, including 4,000 teachers.

As a result, class size at every grade level and at every school has increased. Now class sizes in LA Unified neighborhood schools are among the nation's highest.

Without additional funds, neighborhood schools will have to make even deeper cuts including reducing the number of school police and truancy officers that keep kids safe, in school, away from gangs and drugs, and make surrounding neighborhoods safer. Also, school nurses, counselors and other school employees essential to student health will be cut.

Measure E will provide emergency funding to help our local schools weather this crisis.

Measure E will raise the parcel tax for property owners by $100 a year + just $8.33 a month. Measure E is temporary + it ends in four years.

Measure E funds will be used to:

  • Teach students the basics: reading, math and science;
  • Restore arts programs that have been cut;
  • Help ensure that all students read at grade level;
  • Improve achievement at every neighborhood school;
  • Protect students by keeping bathrooms clean and schools safe;
  • Maintain vocational and job training programs; and
  • Retain and recruit classroom teachers.

EVERY CENT raised by Measure E will be used in our neighborhood schools + it cannot be taken away by Sacramento.

NO money from the measure will go towards central district administrators' salaries.

Vote YES on Measure E.

President, Los Angeles School Police Association

Principal, Beethoven Elementary School

Superintendent, LAUSD

Calvert Street School PTA

California Teacher of the Year, Sylmar H.S.

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Measure E means a big tax increase!

Everyone is struggling during these tough times, but good times or bad, the LAUSD bureaucrats want more. If Measure E passes, it will be the 6th time the district has raised taxes in the last 13 years.

The LAUSD says the need for more of your money is urgent. Without it, the District will not be able to make ends meet. They want you to feel stingy if you don't agree to give them more.

So how much do you think they have to spend? You have probably heard it's about $10,000 per child. But that would be wrong, according to a just released study by the CATO institute. The actual number is over $25,000!

Looks like the taxpayers are already extremely generous! (Check for yourself at -- the report is called "They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public School.")

Why the huge difference between what we hear and what the District actually spends? It's because, like many school districts, the LAUSD excludes whole categories of expenditures that are necessary for schools to function, such as capital costs, debt service, and employee benefits.

Don't let the LAUSD bureaucrats take advantage of taxpayers again. Tell them to shape up and do a better job of managing the billions of dollars they already are getting from us.

Vote NO on Measure E!

President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Secretary, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


Homeowners: Can you afford another tax increase? If Measure E passes, your taxes will go up!

Renters: Can you afford higher rent? If Measure E passes your landlord could be pressed to raise your rent to pay the tax!

Voters have been very generous to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), approving 5 bond measures in the last 13 years, for a total of $20 billion dollars. Many homeowners are now paying hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in higher taxes to repay these bonds... for a massive school construction program that goes forward even though District enrollment has been declining.

Now, LAUSD administrators what you to pay even more. At a time when unemployment is well over 12% and home foreclosures are at record highs, the last thing struggling taxpayers need is higher taxes. Don't be fooled. The LAUSD bureaucrats always want more. Why?

A.J. Duffy, president of the teachers union, said it best when he spoke to the Los Angeles Daily News last year. "This district has lived high on its hog for 10 to 12 years, while continuing to raise administrative and supervisory personnel even while student populations were going down," Duffy said. "Now it's coming back to harm them."

These are tough times for everyone, especially taxpayers. Don't raise your taxes to bail out the LAUSD bureaucrats again.

Vote NO on Measure E!

President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Secretary, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Unprecedented state budget cuts beyond the control of our local schools have and will result in massive cuts to our local schools + with thousands of job losses, including teachers and other essential school employees, cutting essential school services and increasing class sizes.

  • Measure E will help our local schools survive these drastic state budget cuts.
  • Measure E is affordable -- just $100 per parcel a year; $8.33 a month. Low-income seniors will be exempt.
  • Measure E is an emergency measure, designed to help our local schools through the current state budget crisis.
  • Measure E will expire after 4 years and cannot be renewed without voter approval.
  • Measure E will help our local economy. Investing in neighborhood schools maintains local home and property values.
  • Measure E guarantees annual performance and financial audits to ensure that all spending is only on voter-approved classroom needs.

Not one cent from Measure E will go to downtown administrators. Funds will go directly to support local classrooms, prevent layoffs, and class size increases.

Superintendent-initiated reform efforts reduced the size of the central district office and promoted local control to create community-directed neighborhood schools. This includes sending funds directly to neighborhood schools, giving parents, teachers, and principals more decision-making control over how to improve education in their neighborhood schools.

Please help our local schools survive this crisis.

Vote YES on Measure E.

President, Project GRAD Los Angeles

Neighborhood Council Leader, San Fernando Valley

Co-Executive Director, MOMS UNITE

Milken Educator Award Recipient Virgil Middle School, Los Angeles

Principal, Los Angeles High School of the Arts

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Created: August 20, 2010 21:38 PDT
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