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Ventura County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Measure Q
Education Funding
Ventura Unified School District

Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

Pass: 34927 / 68.55% Yes votes ...... 16023 / 31.45% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 17 1:48pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (114/114)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

To maintain academic programs including science, math, reading, writing, arts and music, fund computer technology, and help avoid increased class sizes with funds that cannot be taken by the State and spent elsewhere; shall Ventura Unified School District levy a $59 parcel tax for four years, so long as an independent citizens' oversight committee is required, all funds are spent on neighborhood schools, and no money is used for administrative salaries?

Impartial Analysis from County Counsel
School districts may levy special taxes, upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on a special tax measure, pursuant to section 4 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution and sections 50075-50077, 50079, and 53722 of the Government Code. The Board of Education (Board) of the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) proposes levying a qualified, special tax on real property within VUSD. The tax would be set at a rate of $59 per parcel. As a result of its passage, owners of taxable (non-exempt) real property in VUSD would annually pay an additional tax of $59 per parcel for four years, commencing July 1, 2013. A parcel is defined as any unit of land in VUSD that receives a separate tax bill from the County Tax Collector; however, for multi-family units, as classified by the County Assessor, parcels would be defined as follows: 2 to 4 units shall constitute 2 parcels; 5 or more units shall constitute 5 parcels.

The stated purpose of the tax is to provide revenue that cannot be taken by the State and to aid in preserving and improving academic programs in VUSD. The proposal includes accountability measures including creation of a Community Oversight Committee. The measures are declared to provide oversight and accountability to ensure that revenues from the tax are used: for core academic programs, such as science, math, technology, reading, writing, arts, and music; to avoid future class size increases; to preserve course offerings and electives that are necessary for students to compete for admission to colleges and universities; to provide instructional support for students struggling with basic courses; and to reduce the impact of State budget cuts by providing a stable local funding source that cannot be taken by the State or other school districts. However, VUSD's governing Board may determine that, in any given school year, changes in student population, fiscal constraints, or changes in state or federal funding make using revenues from this measure for the above-stated purposes infeasible or inadvisable.

Proceeds of this special tax will be deposited into a separate VUSD account. The account's proceeds can only be expended for the purposes identified, as stated and limited above, and an annual written report must be made to VUSD's governing Board showing the amount of funds collected and expended from proceeds of this tax as well as the status of any and all projects, programs, or purposes funded from its proceeds.

Additionally, as stated above, if this measure is approved, the VUSD Board must appoint an independent Community Oversight Committee to ensure that all funds from this special tax measure are used for the specific purposes approved by the voters. This Community Oversight Committee will report annually on how these funds are expended.

A "yes" vote is a vote to approve a $59 per parcel qualified special tax on parcels within the VUSD for a four-year period of time, as discussed above. A "no" vote is a vote not to approve the $59 per parcel tax.

  Official Information

Ventura Unified School District
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Arguments For Measure Q Arguments Against Measure Q

Our local public schools are our community's most important asset and have always been our number one priority. From higher achieving students to greater community safety to improved housing values, quality schools make a difference.

Today, without your help, this valuable community resource faces serious financial cutbacks and many essential academic programs are at risk of being eliminated.

Measure Q will provide Ventura's schools with a guaranteed source of critical local funding for academic programs that, by law, must be spent on our local schools and CANNOT BE TAKEN BY THE STATE and spent elsewhere.

Measure Q will improve Ventura's schools in many ways including:

Maintaining and protecting academic programs including science, technology, reading, writing, and math. Maintaining and protecting school art and music programs. Helping to prevent further increases in class sizes. Increasing student access to technology and computers in the classroom. Recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers. Purchasing up-to-date student textbooks and workbooks.

In addition, Measure Q comes with strong TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS including:

Iron-clad restrictions that no funds can be used for administrator salaries, benefits or pensions. Annual review by an independent citizens' oversight committee of all expenditures. Legally required annual audits of all spending. Legal guarantees that all funds be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State and used elsewhere.

Quality schools improve housing values and make for a strong community. Measure Q will allow our community to take the first step towards creating a local source of funding that cannot be taken by the State. It will allow us to create a local solution to maintaining and protecting the quality of education in our schools.

Please join us in voting YES on Measure Q for QUALITY Schools!


In 2010, a parcel tax was attempted and failed. It was recommended VUSD address paying 100% medical benefits for employees and run a campaign to raise $100 from all yes voters. None of this happened.

Instead, the VUSD prefers to tax everyone and not address their budgetary issues first. VUSD prefers to exploit school children to campaign for more funds with an unfair and inequitable tax on property owners.

This parcel tax taxes property owners, whether personal, business or commercial and excludes renters. Properties owners with leases are not able to recover their cost of this tax by increasing rents.

This is a tax to replace State revenues so the schools may continue to pay 100% of their employee's health benefits. The VUSD continues to eliminate teachers and programs before reducing administrative staff. Classrooms first, not benefits.

Ventura Unified pays 100% of employee's health benefits, a cost that is projected to continue to increase. Regardless of how the tax is spent, fewer funds will get into a classroom and more will be paid in benefits.

This tax will become permanent. In 3-4 years, the next campaign will be to renew the tax to avoid layoffs or reduced classes.

The total property taxes paid to the School District continue to increase each year so don't believe claims to the contrary.

Once the tax is passed, an independent citizens oversee committee will be powerless to reverse it regardless of their findings.

This new tax comes at a time when Federal and State taxes are also increasing in 2013.

It is not simple enough to say we need the money. We all need more money. The citizens should not have to pay for more administration, 100% of health benefits and less in the classroom.


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Created: December 17, 2012 13:48 PST
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