By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified leaders approved a special tax for a community facilities district that will affect more than three dozen single-family lots in east Fairfield.
The five-member governing board on Tuesday approved that tax, its amount unspecified in a district bulletin issued Wednesday.
Michelle Richardson, assistant superintendent of business and operations for the 5,100-student district south of Vacaville, said the tax will be levied on 43 single-family lots in the Gold Ridge North Phase II housing area.
In other matters, trustees approved a 3.5 percent pay increase for the district’s management and confidential employees, the latter a group of nearly 30 workers who have access to confidential district information, often employee-employer relations.
via Travis Unified board adopts special tax – The Reporter.
By Mark Baldassare
The elections this year offer the first statewide look at Californians’ willingness to raise revenue for their local schools since passage of Proposition 30, the tax initiative to benefit education that voters passed in November 2012. While it’s too early to know how many local school districts will test the waters by placing a construction bond or parcel tax on the ballot, there are undercurrents in our new survey that spell trouble ahead for local school ballot measures. In short, the public’s sense that schools are in crisis has diminished.
Our annual PPIC Statewide Survey on Californians and Education shows that likely voters view fiscal conditions in education as generally improving. The proportion who say that the state budget situation is a “big problem” for California’s K–12 public education has dropped by 10 points—from 72 percent to 62 percent—between April 2012 and today. More importantly, the proportion of likely voters saying that the level of current state funding for their local public schools is “not enough” has also dropped by 10 points between April 2012 and today—from 59 percent to 49 percent. In other words, the likely voters who currently view state funding of their
via Trouble ahead for local school bonds and parcel taxes? | EdSource Today.
By Ryan McCarthy
Passing a parcel tax will be very tough but the Fairfield-Suisun School District has a good shot at success if the campaign for the measure is done well, the school board was told Thursday.
Gene Bregman, whose Santa Cruz County-based public opinion and marketing research firm surveyed 404 residents within the school district boundaries, said a $74 parcel tax is too high and the chances of passage are quite slim.
The telephone survey found that 71 percent of respondents would support a $49 parcel tax, while 64 percent supported a $74 tax. Two-thirds voter approval is needed for passage, Bregman said.
via Tough to pass parcel tax, Fairfield-Susiun school trustees told Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
A request for firms to study a parcel tax in the Fairfield-Suisun School District won support Thursday from trustees who were told such a study is expected to cost between $20,000 to $30,000.
Kelly Morgan, assistant superintendent for business services, said she’ll return in about a month and recommend to trustees whether to move forward with a firm to review a possible parcel tax on land within the district’s boundaries. The firm would study the funds proposed to be raised through a tax that would go before voters, Morgan said.
via Fairfield-Suisun school officials eye parcel tax Daily Republic.
By John Fensterwald
Only about one in eight school districts in California have passed a parcel tax, and they predominantly have been wealthier and smaller districts. But if the threshold for passing a parcel tax were dropped from a two-thirds majority to 55 percent, an EdSource analysis suggests more districts with larger enrollments of low-income students would pass them.
“Raising Revenues Locally,” an extensive look at three decades of parcel taxes, found that, had the 55 percent threshold been in effect from the start, 87 percent of parcel tax proposals overall would have passed, compared with just over half approved under the two-thirds requirement. Those districts in between 55 percent and two-thirds had a significantly higher percentage of English learners and low-income children than the districts that successfully enacted a parcel tax under current law.
via Lower-income districts would benefit from 55 percent parcel tax threshold, study suggests – by John Fensterwald.
Bob Jarvis, Fairfield
Never mind warning Julius Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March.” More timely advice would be Californians beware of upcoming tax measures.
Last November’s Proposition 30 is a good example of how the Legislature uses seemingly good ideas like helping schools to expand into cash grabs against everyone who maintains a residence in California.
via Beware upcoming tax measures.
By John Fensterwald
A newly elected assemblymember has introduced a bill that could make parcel taxes more attractive to school districts by allowing them to impose different tax rates on residential and commercial properties.
The bill, AB 59, by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would nullify a state Appeals Court ruling in December overturning an Alameda Unified School District parcel tax that levied one rate for residential and small commercial properties, and another for larger commercial properties. Bonta also represents Alameda.
via Bill would allow charging commercial properties a bigger parcel tax – by John Fensterwald.
The Legislature’s Democratic leaders want to use their newly minted supermajorities to do things that they could not do before, but are leery of doing things that might alienate voters and jeopardize those supermajorities.
They prefer, therefore, an incremental approach to using their two-thirds legislative votes, thus slowly warming voters to the exercise of their new power, rather than shocking them.
via Dan Walters: Parcel tax changes could be big battle in California Legislature.
Democrats in the Legislature are poised to help make it easier for school districts to pass parcel taxes, but a court ruling this month – if it withstands an appeal – will narrow the scope of what parcel taxes can tax.
The First District Court of Appeals overturned Alameda Unified’s parcel tax, passed in 2008 and lasting three years, that set different tax rates for owners of residential and commercial property. In Borikas vs Alameda Unified, the court said that it violated a state law that requires parcel taxes be uniform. The potential ramifications of the decision are significant as districts look to local property owners for one of the few sources of money outside of state revenue.
via Appeals court imposes restrictions on parcel taxes – by John Fensterwald.
Voter approval of sales and income taxes and the advent of Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature have generated new hope among liberals that Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax limit they consider their bête noire, might be changed.
Not surprisingly, hope on the political left means fear on the right, which considers Proposition 13 to be its ideological touchstone.
Two events last week signal that property taxes are back on the political agenda.
via Dan Walters: Should property taxes be raised?.
It didn’t take long for a Democratic senator among the newly empowered supermajority in the Legislature to go after a low-hanging fruit: lowering the threshold for passage of a local parcel tax for education.
On Thursday, Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco announced he would introduce a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to pass parcel taxes for school districts and community colleges by 55 percent instead of the current two-thirds majority.
via Renewed push for a 55 percent threshold to pass parcel tax – by John Fensterwald.
Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s sales and income tax hike, was easily the most contentious measure on last week’s ballot.
As they were passing Proposition 30, however, millions of California voters were also deciding whether to impose even more taxes upon themselves to relieve budget pressure on local governments and school districts – and most of them also passed.
via Dan Walters: California Democrats will propose easing of parcel tax voting rules.