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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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Parcel Tax

Special District
June 5, 2018California Primary Election

Belmont-Redwood Shores School District
Measure K - 2/3 Approval Required

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To preserve academic excellence, maintain math, science, technology, reading, writing, art/music programs, attract/retain qualified teachers, and keep school libraries open, shall this Belmont-Redwood Shores School District measure to levy $118 per parcel for five years, raise $1,400,000 annually for schools that cannot be taken by the State be adopted, with independent community oversight of expenditures, no funds for administer salaries, an exception for senior citizens, and all funds staying in local schools to protect student education?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The California Constitution and State law authorize school districts to levy qualified special taxes for specified purposes. Government Code Sections 50077 and 50079 provide that such a tax measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on it vote to approve the measure.

By this Measure, the Board of Trustees of the Belmont-Redwood City Shores School District ("District") proposes a special tax on parcels in the district that would raise funds to support various educational purposes outlined below. If this Measure is approved, an annual tax of $118 per parcel would be imposed for a period of five years starting July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2023. The District estimates the tax would raise $1.14 million annually.

The proposed tax applies to any unit of real property which lies wholly or partially in the District that receives a separate tax bill from San Mateo County tax collection officials. Parcels otherwise exempt from such property taxes will be exempt from this proposed tax. Any individual owning and occupying a parcel as a single-family residence may apply for an exemption to this tax if they also: (1) are age 65 years or older; (2) receive Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age; or (3) receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits regardless of age, and have an annual income not exceeding 250% of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines. Parcels exempt from the District's existing parcel tax are automatically exempt from the tax under this Measure.

The stated purposes of the tax are to: protect core academic programs in math, science, technology, reading, and writing; maintain a well-rounded curriculum, including art and music programs; attract and retain qualified teachers; expand reading and writing instruction; and keep school libraries open. 

The proceeds of the tax shall only be used for the stated purposes and for no other purposes. The measure states that no proceeds may be spent on administrator salaries, benefits, or pensions.

The District will provide the following additional accountability measures for the tax proceeds: the proceeds will be placed into a special account; an annual report accounting for the proceeds collected and expended and the status of projects or programs funded by the tax will be filed with the District's Board of Trustees; and an independent citizens' oversight committee will be established to oversee expenditures of the proceeds.

The Measure states that the tax is not intended to jeopardize local, state, or federal funding, and, if any such funding is reduced or offset because of the tax, the District may reduce the amount of the tax levied as necessary to restore the funding. If necessary, the District's appropriations limit shall be increased annually to ensure revenue from the tax may be spent for the listed purposes.

A "Yes" vote on this Measure would impose an annual tax of $118 per taxable parcel on property within the district for a period of five years beginning on July 1, 2018, for the purposes listed above.

A "No" vote on this Measure would not allow the parcel tax to be levied.

This measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes." 

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure K to provide locally controlled funding that can't be taken away by the State, and to protect our Belmont and Redwood Shores elementary schools and middle schools from cuts to core academic programs.

Thanks to our supportive communities, award-winning academics, and high quality teachers, Belmont-Redwood Shores School District provides an excellent education to local students.

However, while student enrollment has increased by 66% over nine years, local revenue has not kept up.  In fact, the State has cut $5 million from our schools in the last three years.

As the lowest state-funded school district in San Mateo County, we need a dedicated source of local funding to protect our students and help close this growing funding gap.

Measure K provides the funding our Belmont and Redwood Shores schools need to maintain a well-rounded curriculum with strong core academics, music and art programs.

By law, all Measure K funds must stay in local classrooms to support student success and retain our high quality teachers - not a single penny can be taken by the State.

Vote YES on Measure K

 * protect core academic programs in math, science, and technology

 * maintain a well-rounded curriculum, including art and music programs

 * attract and retain qualified teachers

 * protect reading and writing instruction

 * keep school libraries open

Fiscal Accountability is Built into Measure K

 * all funds stay in local schools and cannot be taken away by the State

 * no money can be spent on administrators' salaries

 * independent citizens' oversight will ensure funds are spent as promised

 * Measure K expires in five years and can't be renewed without voter approval

 * Senior citizen homeowners can receive an exemption

Our excellent schools make Belmont and Redwood Shores desirable places to live, protecting property values for us all.

Please join parents, teachers, seniors, and local leaders and vote YES on K!

 

/s/ David Pickett, Belmont-Redwood Shores Faculty Association President

/s/ Charles Stone, Belmont City Council member

/s/ Gloria Wu, Opening Doors PTA former President

/s/ Mary Morrissey Parden, Belmont Business Owner

/s/ Jeffrey Scott Gee, Former Mayor of Redwood City 

Arguments AGAINST

With this latest "temporary" parcel tax, the Belmont Redwood Shores School District claims they need more money to continue providing quality education.

The district not only wants the 2013 parcel tax for 10 years they're already getting, they want an increase of $118 per year more for 5 years. And that's on top of 2 bond measures of $48M and $25M funded since 2010.

Have they earned this extension that will cost you $590 over the next 5 years (on top of the taxes you are already paying)? 

Let's look at the student test scores for Math learners attaining proficiency:

2015-16 school year results: 74% meeting proficiency

That means 26% do NOT meet standards.

Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership

If you got 74% a test, that would be a C grade, would it not?

Should you, the voters, reward a 26% failure rate with more money?

If no, we encourage you to vote No on Measure K.

Belmont Redwood Shores School District is already spending $10,616 per student. For an average class size of 26 students, that's $270,016 per class per year.

The average salary and benefits for teachers is $92,347 per shortened work year.

Yet they want more of your hard earned money to paid their salaries and fat pension plans.

Tell the Belmont Redwood Shores School District to be fiscally responsible by voting No on Measure K.

If you reward failure, you will get more failure!

For more information, please visit us at:

http://www.svtaxpayers.org/2018-belmont-redwood-shores-parcel-tax

 

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle, President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Chris Yonts, Belmont Parent 

Replies to Arguments FOR

With this latest "temporary" parcel tax, the Belmont Redwood Shores School District claims they need more money to continue providing quality education.

The district not only wants the 2013 parcel tax for 10 years they're already getting, they want an increase of $118 per year more for 5 years. And that's on top of 2 bond measures of $48M and $25M funded since 2010.

Have they earned this extension that will cost you $590 over the next 5 years (on top of the taxes you are already paying)? 

Let's look at the student test scores for Math learners attaining proficiency:

2015-16 school year results: 74% meeting proficiency

That means 26% do NOT meet standards.

Source: California Department of Education Data Partnership

If you got 74% a test, that would be a C grade, would it not?

Should you, the voters, reward a 26% failure rate with more money?

If no, we encourage you to vote No on Measure K.

Belmont Redwood Shores School District is already spending $10,616 per student. For an average class size of 26 students, that's $270,016 per class per year.

The average salary and benefits for teachers is $92,347 per shortened work year.

Yet they want more of your hard earned money to paid their salaries and fat pension plans.

Tell the Belmont Redwood Shores School District to be fiscally responsible by voting No on Measure K.

If you reward failure, you will get more failure!

 

/s/ Mark W.A. Hinkle,  President, Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association

/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian party of San Mateo County

/s/ Chris Yonts, Belmont Parent 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The author of the argument against Measure K habitually opposes local education funding measures and filed an argument against EVERY measure in San Mateo County. He is not invested in our schools or our students' future.

As local leaders who believe that strong education is a top priority, we make it a priority to know our schools and the facts. We're voting Yes on K.

 * Our schools need Measure K now. The District is facing a budget deficit and a local revenue source is the only way to protect our students from cuts to academic programs.

 *We cannot rely on the State to provide the funding we need to support student achievement. The State has already cut $5 million from our schools over the last three years. Measure K provides a dedicated source of local revenue for our schools that the State can't touch.

 * Citizens' oversight ensures Measure K supports education, not administrators. Measure K requires audits and community reports, just like previous measures. You can read Citizen Oversight Committee minutes, verifying all funds have been spent wisely, at www.brssd.org/parcel-tax-oversight-committee. No funds can be spent on admistrators' salaries.

 * Measure K protects academic programs and teachers. Measure K generates $1.4 million annually in locally controlled funding to protect quality education, retain qualified teachers, and keep school libraries open.

We are parents, business owners, and education leaders, and we are taxpayers, too. We are accountable: to our kids, to our community, and to ensuring students receive the quality education they deserve.

Vote Yes on K. Vote Yes for Belmont-Redwood Shores Kids.

 

/s/ Doug Kim, Mayor of Belmont

/s/ Maggie Smith, Redwood Shores resident for 22 years 

/s/ Jeffrey Selman, Chairman Belmont-Redwood Shores School District Parcel Tax Oversight committee 

/s/ Rakesh Hegde, Redwood Shores business owner

/s/ Val Vandervort, Real Estate business owner

/s/ Sapna Dixit, Belmont parent 

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