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School Support Tax
Piedmont Unified School District
Parcel Tax Measure - 2/3 Approval Required
Pass: 2,944 / 77.0% Yes votes ...... 880 / 23.0% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To prevent local school funding from expiring and to maintain the quality of Piedmont's schools, to attract, train and retain qualified teachers, to protect programs in math, science and technology, to continue funding for music, visual and perfoming arts programs, and to keep textbooks and instructional technology up-to-date, shall the Piedmont Unified School District continue to levy a special tax as specified in the voter pamphlet, with all funds staying in Piedmont to benefit our schools?
A school district has the authority to levy special taxes upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on the special tax proposal. (See Cal. Const. Art. XIII A, § 4; Art. XIII C, §2; Cal. Gov't Code §§ 50075-50077, 50079, & 53722.)
If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the funding revenue will be used for the specific purposes set forth in the full text of the measure printed in this sample ballot. Those purposes include, but are not limited to: teacher recruitment, training and retention; maintaining textbooks and instructional technology up-to-date; protecting math, science, and technology programs; and funding music, visual, and performing arts programs. The monies collected shall be accounted for separately and shall be expended only for those specified purposes.
If the measure passes, the special tax shall be assessed at the rate of $2,406.00 per parcel. The Board of Education ("Board") will determine annually the amount of the levy for the following fiscal year up to the maximum allowable rate. On an annual basis, the Board may increase the maximum allowable amount by up to 2% from the previous year.
As part of the annual budget process, the Board shall determine the total amount of the special tax and its assessed rate as outlined in the measure printed in this sample ballot. The accountability measures of California Government Code sections 50075.1 and 50075.3 shall apply to the special taxes levied under this measure.
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. Homeowners who are residing on their property and qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be exempt. Individuals seeking such an exemption must apply to the District on or before July 1 of each tax year.
If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail, and the previously-approved special tax assessment at the variable rates will continue through June 30, 2014.
League of Women Voters Piedmont Host Measure A Forum
|Arguments For Measure A||Arguments Against Measure A|
|Piedmont schools are among the best in California. Exceptional teachers, challenging programs and support from parents and the community all contribute to high student achievement.
Since 1985, Piedmont schools have benefited from stable local funding provided by our school parcel tax. The parcel tax automatically expires periodically. Piedmont voters reauthorized it in 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2009. Now the parcel tax is again set to expire.
Measure A provides nearly $9.5 million in annual funding for Piedmont schools + 30% of the school's budget. This is equivalent to 100 teachers or 60 instructional days. If Measure A fails, every classroom in Piedmont will be impacted. Teachers will be laid off, class sizes will increase, and many instructional programs will be eliminated.
As required by court decision Measure A sets a flat tax amount per parcel. In the past voters approved a yearly increase up to 5%. This measure caps the potential yearly increase to no more than 2%.
Every penny from Measure A will stay in Piedmont to benefit our schools and cannot be taken away by the State.
Measure A does not expand the educational program, but continues stable local funding for comprehensive programs in language arts, math, science and the arts.
Measure A is essential to continue to attract, train and retain the best teachers.
Measure A will keep class sizes smaller, preserve AP courses that help students qualify for excellent colleges, protect counseling services and maintain outstanding academic programs.
Good schools help protect Piedmont property values. Whether you have children in the schools or not, Measure A is a sound investment in our community and its children.
Please help us preserve quality schools in Piedmont. Please vote YES.
s/ Richard Raushenbush, President of Piedmont Board of Education
Measure B, the current school tax, continues into 2014. There is time to get the subsequent tax measure right. Why is the School Board pushing so hard to rush through a poorly designed tax proposal?
Tax fairness is another problem. Piedmonters know that our good schools raise property values. Larger properties increase in value by a larger amount than smaller properties, so they should pay more tax. Measure A's flat rate results in smaller parcels paying up to 80 times more per square foot than larger parcels. The tax should be levied on a per-squarefoot parcel and/or dwelling basis. That would be fair and uniform.
The top school districts comparable to Piedmont offer a senior exemption. Measure A doesn't. This would create an untenable burden for senior Piedmonters with limited incomes.
With more time, a fair tax with strong oversight and a senior exemption can be crafted to fund Piedmont's good schools. Measure B doesn't expire until 2014. Vote NO now, so we can vote YES when a better tax measure is proposed.
s/ James P. McCrea, Piedmont Homeowner
|We Piedmonters are happy to pay more for schools, and our excellent schools are the proud result. However, no other community's school tax approaches Measure A's $2406 per parcel cost. Given the high cost, an equitable and progressive tax is needed. This can be done and
provide the $9,500,000 asked for.
With 2% escalators, homeowners are being asked for $20,651 over 8 years. This financial burden falls heavily on the smaller property owners. At the extreme, a small lot owner will pay 80 times more per square foot than what the largest lot owner pays. Small lots include many fixed income seniors who most need relief from this highest in the state school tax. The fixed parcel tax is regressive, a progressive tax is needed.
Since good schools enhance property values, the most equitable solution is a tax according to dwelling area which is currently allowed for Community Colleges under Government Code 50079.1. Piedmont Unified School District should work with other districts affected by the Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District Appeals Court decision to make the minor legislative changes needed for a per square foot dwelling tax.
A senior exemption is included in all other top-ranked California school districts with a school support tax. In our region, most school districts include a senior exemption. Piedmont does not have a senior exemption and this must be included. The proposed SSI exemption for low-income seniors is meaningless in Piedmont.
A truly independent citizen oversight committee must be included in the proposed tax; currently, there is none. Piedmont schools are an integral part of our fine community; let's keep it that way, but fairly.
VOTE NO on MEASURE A. Instead, let us vote on a tax in November that is equitable, has genuine citizen oversight and a meaningful senior exemption.
s/ James P. McCrea, Piedmont Homeowner
A recent Appeals Court decision requires Piedmont to modify our existing parcel tax that has been in place for 27 years. The court decision requires that the school district modify the existing tax so all Piedmont property owners pay the same rate, fair and simple.
For almost three decades Piedmont residents have invested in improving our school district. Today it is ranked among the best in the state. People move to Piedmont for the schools and home values are a direct result of our quality schools.
The district has already made significant budget reductions. Measure A maintains the current minimum funding necessary to provide the excellent education Piedmonters expect.
Finally, the opponents simply have their facts wrong. Low-income seniors are exempt from Measure A. An independent oversight committee is required. There is no legislation pending or anticipated that will allow a different structure.
Whether you have children in the schools or not Measure A is a sound investment in our community.
Please vote Yes.
s/ Tamra C. Hege, 40-year Resident, Former Member Piedmont Board of Education
|Full Text of Measure A|
PIEDMONT SCHOOL SUPPORT TAX
This Measure may be known and referred to as the "School Support Tax", or as Measure "A".
To prevent local school funding from expiring and to maintain the quality of Piedmont's schools, to attract, train and retain qualified teachers, to protect programs in math, science and technology, to continue funding for music, visual and performing arts programs, and to keep textbooks and instructional technology up-to-date, shall the Piedmont Unified School District continue to levy a special tax as specified in the voter pamphlet, with all funds staying in Piedmont to benefit our schools?
For over a generation, the residents of the District have approved parcel taxes to support District programs for the students in Piedmont schools. Parcel taxes have allowed the District to establish and maintain a full range of educational offerings for students, including visual arts, performing arts and music, as well as comprehensive programs in math, science and technology. The depth and range of these programs have supported student achievement and preparation for success after graduation. Student achievement scores rank among the best in the State and students are admitted to, and successful at, excellent colleges and universities. Parcel taxes have proven crucial to the District's financial health, currently providing over a third of total District revenues.
The purpose of this Measure "A" is to continue the tradition of support in a measure with an eight (8) year term, which will provide the District and its taxpayers both stability and predictability in base parcel tax support. The proposed parcel tax is called "The School Support Tax." It will replace the local funding approved by the voters of the District on June 2, 2009, as Measure "B", which will otherwise expire as of July 1, 2014. This Measure "A" will replace the variable tax rate found in Measure "B", with a flat tax in order to comply with recent developments in case law.
This Measure will prevent existing school funding from expiring by continuing to provide local revenue that cannot be taken by the State and will maintain Piedmont's excellent quality of public education by attracting, training and retaining qualified teachers, maintaining small class sizes, and protecting instructional programs and services, including art and music, world language, advanced placement, school libraries, classroom technology and student counseling.
The Board of Education will fund all of the programs and purposes listed above unless it determines in any given year that changes in student population, fiscal constraints, or other changes in State or Federal funding make doing so infeasible or inadvisable. In any event, the Board of Education will not fund any program, purpose, or reduction, other than those listed above, from the proceeds of the special taxes.
The School Support Tax would be in effect, beginning July 1, 2013, at the rate shown below on each assessor's parcel located wholly or partially within the boundaries of the Piedmont Unified School District, and end on June 30, 2021.
ADMINISTRATION OF TAX
The special tax shall be assessed at the rate of $2,406, per parcel.
For parcels divided by Tax Code Area lines, the payment for the portion of the parcel within the Piedmont Unified School District shall be the same as the above.
ADJUSTMENT OF RATE
The Board will determine, on an annual basis, the amount of the levy for the following fiscal year, up to the maximum allowable rate shown above. The Board may also increase the maximum allowable amount by up to 2% from the previous year. If, in any given year, the Board elects to levy an amount less than the maximum allowable rate, it may, in subsequent years, levy the maximum allowable rate.
PROTECTION OF FUNDING
Current law forbids any decrease in State or Federal funding to the District because of the District's adoption of a parcel tax. However, if any such funds are reduced because of the adoption of this parcel tax, then the amount of the special taxes will be reduced annually as necessary in order to restore such State or Federal funding.