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San Carlos Schools February 4, 2015

San Carlos School District to Issue Ballot Measure for Bundled, Increased School Tax.

by Chuck Gillooley

Re-Ante the School Tax.

Facing the upcoming expiration in June of Measure B, the $78/yer parcel tax for San Carlos schools that has been in place since 2009, the San Carlos School District Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to put a new, bundled parcel tax on the ballot this Spring which will not only extend the timeline of both Measure B and Measure A funding, but will also increase the overall school tax that is levied per household.

In what will be a mail-only ballot, the school district will ask San Carlos homeowners to approve an extension of Measure B and increase that tax by 74%, or an additional $58 per year.  This revised tax will then be bundled with the  Measure A tax, the $110/year tax that was passed in 2011 and is set to expire in May of 2019.  The net result would be a combined new annual school tax of $246/year, which would then run through 2021.

According to this article in the Daily Journal, the District is optimistic that this revised tax will be embraced by the San Carlos community. Past history has shown that mail-only ballots of this sort tend to pass more often than not. The measure will require a full 2/3 majority to pass, and seniors will have the ability to opt out of paying the tax.  The funds will be prioritized “to attract and retain top-level educators, and implement curriculum that is focused on 21st century teaching methods”, according to the article.

If the tax initiative fails, it will cost the District over $720,000 in lost tax revenue, so a lot is on the line for the District.

What Do You Think?

Time for another White Oaks Blog poll — what do you think about the proposed school tax?  Will you vote in favor of it, or against it?  Feel free to cast your vote below. If you have more to say about it, make your opinion known in the comment section at the bottom of the post.

How Will You Vote on the Upcoming Combined School Parcel Tax?

View Results

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San Carlos School District to Issue Ballot Measure for Bundled, Increased School Tax., 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Comments 6
  • I am not an anti-tax type of person. I’ve voted in favor of extending or increasing school taxes every time it’s come up, even though I don’t have kids. I value good schools. But ANOTHER increase is pretty hard to swallow.

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  • Before deciding I would really like to understand the need for the increase. Is it for teacher salaries? More and updated classroom materials? More information is needed.

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  • Of course, the School Board would prefer to hide behind a rock and use the mail-in ballot process, instead of presenting this in a general election ballot and face a large number of taxpayers. It’s this kind of attitude that infuriates me. It’s rather hideous for lack of a better word. These kinds of parcel tax measures/bond measures tend to be self repeating and just passes the buck down the line, with zero conscience. A line by line explanation is needed on where this money is to be spent is needed.

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  • After the first tax passed the district should have spent the time to determine what needed to be done to solve the budget issues. instead they spend freely as if it is part of the long term budget and start their strategy to renew it when it expires. I blame the voters for giving them this idea that it will be perpetual part of the budget. But that is the attitude that was behind the bridge loan and it is behind this too: a sense of entitlement and lack of respect for the taxpayers. They are not acting as proper stewards of the taxpayers’ money.

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  • The reason these parcel taxes are self-repeating is because the state underfunding of San Carlos schools is self-repeating. It’s easy to say the school just needs to do a better job budgeting, but that glosses over the very challenging economic realities of public schools in San Carlos. If the state doesn’t give SCUSD enough $ to run its programs, then either local funding needs to help out or programs need to be cut. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and assume programs can be cut because a ton of waste goes on in our schools, but that’s not the reality many of us see on a daily basis in our schools. Many, many, many community members not only give generously to the schools beyond their taxes, but also work tirelessly to volunteer in classrooms and stretch our dollars as far as possible.

    Some are asking what the money will be used for; the district has put together a good FAQ explaining some of the background and what the money is used for: http://www.scsdk8.org/wp-content/uploads/SanCarlosSD1_TBWB_FAQ_5b.pdf

    But even if none of the above strikes a chord with you, there’s another excellent reason to support these parcel taxes. I’m not a realtor like Chuck — he would have the hard data. But it’s impossible to not anecdotally notice the role young famillies are playing in pushing our property values higher and higher. There are a lot of reasons why San Carlos resonates with young families, but the quality of the public schools is one of the biggest. If these kinds of parcel taxes help our schools, which in turn helps drive the value of your home up even by a few thousand (which seems convservative), that sounds like a winning investment.

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    • If you look at the rest of the state there are some very high performing school districts that have never entertained the idea of a parcel tax. This is just an easy fix for a long term issue and that is lack of budgeting skills.

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