Based on new information, CO$T now opposes Kentfield School District Measure A.
Our prior approach was to take “No Position”, while providing detailed information so voters could make an informed choice.
Measure A proposes to raise the parcel tax on single family homes and condos to $1,498 (+31%) effective 7/1/2018.
We urge KSD to develop a more fair and sensible parcel tax for approval by voters in the November 2018 general election. This is the best way to sustain educational excellence AND community goodwill.
1. There’s a fairer, less divisive way for KSD to sustain current revenues and programs. Three school districts in the East Bay enacted in 2016, by overwhelming community consensus, uniform parcel taxes based on square footage of the buildings, across both residential and commercial properties; features included senior, disabled, and low income exemptions. Measure A instead, is a uniform flat tax in which all parcels pay exactly the same dollar amount, whether it’s Bon Air Center, a mansion, or a tiny condo. Passage of Measure A would shift over $750,000 in tax burden from commercial properties to homeowners (and does so prematurely on 7/1/18, rather than 7/1/19 when the current parcel tax expires). The district and Yes campaign state that without passage of Measure A, they’ll lose ¼ of the revenues and cut teachers and programs. The high stakes for parents, teachers, and taxpayers have unnecessarily divided the community (most of which doesn’t know that layoff notices wouldn’t be required before mid-March 2019). A NO vote on Measure A gives time to pass a better-designed consensus plan that is more sensible, affordable, and maintains educational services.
2. Measure A would be the second highest school parcel tax enacted anywhere in California in at least 10 years.
3. Tamalpais Union High School District needs substantial additional revenue because it’s been recently formally warned of potential insolvency in fiscal 2020/1. Rising enrollment and costs are causing operating deficits and reserve drains greater than expected. TUHSD probably can’t avoid program cuts and perhaps some personnel reductions. A planned parcel tax measure, if passed in November 2018, will only partially mitigate TUHSD’s financial strain. TUHSD hopes to increase its parcel tax at least 50% to $428+ annually (though the district needs much more than that to sustain services). Measure A voters, all of whom will also be subject to TUHSD’s contemplated parcel tax hike, need to learn about and consider the financial and educational needs of both districts – and whether they can afford to pay TWO big parcel tax hikes. We emphasize this need not be an “either / or” choice if both KSD and TUHSD parcel taxes are structured per square foot, which spreads the tax burden in a way that reduces the impact on most homeowners, and especially those with small homes/condos.
Important Additional information:
Voting Deadline March 6; How to Replace a Lost/discarded Ballot –Your Mail-in Ballot must be postmarked no later than March 6. If you have lost, discarded, or misplaced your ballot, you should immediately request a replacement by phoning the Marin County Department of Elections 415-473-6456.
Learn more about successful ballot measures tied to square footage of buildings. Here’s ballot measure info about such parcel taxes enacted by Unified School Districts of Berkeley, Alameda, and West Contra Costa that are tied to square footage of buildings.
Check our website periodically for updates about the KSD parcel tax.