The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers OPPOSES Measure B, which would raise for the second time in little over a year, the parcel tax for Tamalpais Union High Schools (Redwood, Drake, and Tamalpais). All told, the tax jumps from $300 to $645, then increases 3% annually for 10 years.
Leading Marin citizens’ opposition, CO$T submitted the primary and rebuttal arguments against Measure B, which appear in the voter pamphlet. This tax is simply unfair, unaffordable, and unnecessary.
CO$T’s two ballot arguments, shown below, make the case for why Tam District residents should vote NO.
Argument Against Tam Union Parcel Tax
Voters should reject Measure B, an unfair and unaffordable ten-year parcel tax renewal and dramatic increase. Your taxes start at $645 a year,
increasing 3% annually, reaching $842 in 10 years. Up from $300 just 2 years ago.
Voters passed a $149 second parcel tax for TUHSD in 2018 (on top of the larger existing one). TUHSD is adding back costs reduced just last year and wants another $190!
Measure B is unfair because it’s a flat rate. A studio pays the same as a mansion, mall or apartment complex.
TUHSD says this tax hike request was always part of the plan. This was not disclosed to voters who approved Measure J 16 months ago.
Rising enrollment is the supposed reason for a higher tax. But their own study shows enrollment declines start in 3 years.
No 10-year financial forecast justifies the proposed 10-year tax.
Pension expenses are why we’re facing so many tax measures. TUHSD must lobby Sacramento for reform instead of hitting homeowners with increasing parcel taxes.
Seniors and medically disabled: Though you can get an exemption from this tax, it DOES harm you. Your friends, neighbors, and caregivers are forced out by unaffordability. Your kids can’t live nearby. Higher taxes don’t help property values, and they threaten your quality of life.
Don’t believe threats of teacher layoffs and rising class sizes. Current parcel taxes don’t expire until 2022, giving the District time to rethink its needs and present a fairer, more affordable proposal.
The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers supported 2018’s Measure J as a 4-year urgent measure for a school district threatened by insolvency. With 2018 Measure J’s $5 million annual infusion, TUHSD hasn’t made the case for a much higher tax lasting 10 years. CO$T OPPOSES Measure B.
COALITION OF SENSIBLE TAXPAYERS Mimi Willard, President
COST Director and former Grand Juror
Retired affordable housing director, and tax oversight committee member
COST Director and former San Anselmo Town Councilmember
Parent of 2 Redwood graduates
Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure B
Only a year ago, voters approved a $149 Tam Union parcel tax increase for four years. Now, with almost identical promises and threats, they say they need $190 more. It’s too much. Vote No.
Tam Union is already reversing much-touted expense cuts. Of two senior
management positions eliminated, one is being added back. Also being reversed: much of the $ 1 million savings achieved by ending non-classroom “Teacher Leader” payments.
Tam Union’s enrollment begins long-term DECLINE in two years. This should mean fewer teachers and administrators, not more. If Measure B passes, ALL $645 (plus 3% escalators) of Tam Union parcel taxes will be in place for a new TEN-YEAR term.
Yet Tam Union claims enrollment increases are why they need more money.
The truth: Tam Union’s 2020 pension expenses are $5 million higher than they would have been without a 2013 state mandate making local districts pay more for their pension liabilities.
The truth: $5 million annually is what the November 2018 supplemental parcel tax raised.
Moreover, the proposed flat parcel tax is unfair.
Measure B forces a studio condo owner to pay as much as the mall!
Tam Union’s parcel tax should be per building square foot. If uniformly applied to all parcels, that’s fair and legal for school taxes. The proposed Marin County Wildfire Protection Parcel Tax Measure, which the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers endorsed, is essentially per building square foot
Tam Union has two-plus years on its current parcel taxes to reform spending and propose a fairer tax measure that ensures extra money goes into classrooms.
Help make this happen. VOTE NO.
SUSAN KIRSCH Community Organizer
TAMSEN McCRACKEN Parent of former Redwood student and lawyer
DORSEY McTAGGART Retired official court reporter
MARSHA HALLET Artist
WILLIAM ROSTENBERG Greenbrae resident