Dublin Unified School District Parcel Tax Renewal, Measure B (May 2014)

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A Dublin Unified School District Parcel Tax Renewal, Measure B ballot question was on the May 6, 2014 election ballot for voters in the Dublin Unified School District in Alameda County, California, where it was approved.

Measure B renewed for five years a parcel tax of $96 per year in the district. This tax was first approved as Measure L in 2008.

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval of Measure B.

Election results

Measure B
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 4,856 79.14%
No1,28020.86%
Election results from Alameda County Elections office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot was:[1]

Without increasing the existing tax rate and to maintain high quality education for all grades by sustaining academic achievement in math, science, reading, writing, and utilizing technology; supporting engineering/medicine/biotechnology academies; attracting/retaining highly qualified teachers; and maintaining school libraries, current instructional materials/technology, shall the Dublin Unified School District renew its expiring $96 parcel tax for five years, with a senior exemption, independent oversight, no money for administrators salaries and all funds staying in Dublin schools?[2]

Analysis

County Counsel Donna R. Ziegler produced the following impartial analysis of Measure B:[1]

Measure B, a Dublin Unified School District ("District") special parcel tax measure, seeks voter approval to authorize the District to renew and extend a special parcel tax in the amount of $96.00 per year on each parcel of taxable real property, beginning July 1, 2014 for five years, to fund the programs set forth in the measure. The District's voters previously authorized a special parcel tax assessment at the same rate on November 4, 2008.

A school district has the authority to levy special taxes upon approval by two-thirds of the votes cast on the special tax proposal. (See Cal. Const. Art. XIII A, § 4; Art. XIII C, §2; Cal. Gov't Code §§ 50075-50077, 50079, & 53722, et seq.)

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure vote for approval, the special tax revenue will be used for the specific purposes set forth in the full text of the measure printed in this sample ballot. Those purposes include, but are not limited to: recruiting and training teachers, maintaining class sizes, and maintaining school library services. The measure further provides that the Board of Trustees will use the revenue for those purposes, unless it determines in any given year that changes in student population, fiscal constraints, or other changes in state or federal funding make doing so infeasible or inadvisable. A community oversight committee will help ensure that the special tax monies are spent for their authorized purposes and report annually to the Board of Trustees and the community on the expenditure of such monies.

If the measure passes, the tax will be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes are collected. Annual exemptions are available for seniors and persons on Supplemental Security Income upon application to the District as outlined in the text of the measure. Individuals seeking either one of the two exemptions must apply to the District on or before July 1 of each tax year. Any contiguous parcels used solely for one owner-occupied, single-family residence and held under identical ownership shall, upon approval of an application to the District, be treated as a single parcel for purposes of the special tax.

If two-thirds of the qualified electors voting on this measure do not vote for approval, the measure will fail, and the District will not be authorized to extend the special tax.

This measure is placed on the ballot by the governing board of the District.[2]

Support

Supporters

The following is a list of those who signed the official arguments in favor of Measure B:[1]

  • Tim Sbranti, mayor and Dublin high school teacher
  • Janine Thalblum, Dublin Rotary President & parent
  • Janet Lockhart, superintendent of Dublin Schools Foundation (DPIE) Enrichment Academy
  • Jan Cohen, Dublin teacher
  • Edy Coleman, Dublin resident 37 years and 2013 Mayor's Volunteer Award Winner

Arguments in favor

Below are the official arguments submitted in favor of Measure B:[1]

Our students receive a high-quality and well-rounded education in local schools. They continue to achieve high scores on statewide exams and are prepared to compete for the best colleges and 21st-century careers.

In 2008, over 70% of Dublin Unified School District voters approved funding to protect essential academic programs and retain teachers. While funding for education is improving, state funding for Dublin schools will not be fully restored for at least another seven years. With our increasing enrollment, it is more critical than ever for Dublin Unified School District to maintain stable local funding.

Now this funding is set to expire this year, which means our schools will lose millions of dollars and be forced to cut critical science, reading and technology programs. Measure B protects the essentials of an excellent education --without increasing taxes.

Specifically, Measure B will:

  • Maintain academic excellence in math, science, reading, writing and technology
  • Create and expand educational academies in science, engineering, medicine and biotechnology
  • Attract and retain highly qualified teachers
  • Maintain school libraries and up‐to‐date instructional materials for students

All Measure B funds will continue to be controlled locally--Sacramento cannot take a single penny.

  • The independent Citizens' Oversight Committee will continue to ensure funds are spent as promised
  • None of the money raised can be used for administrators' salaries
  • Homeowners, aged 65 and older, will continue to be eligible to receive an exemption
  • If passed, Measure B will expire in 5 years and could not be renewed without voter approval

Join parents, teachers, local businesses and community leaders and vote YES on B.[2]

Editorials

  • The Contra Costa Times editorial board published an article advocating a "yes" vote on Measure B. The editorial called the proposed parcel tax "modest" and said that it deserved voter support.[3]

Opposition

No official arguments were submitted in opposition to Measure B. If you have an argument you would like to see posted here, please email the Local Ballot Measures Project staff writer.

Full text

The full text of the ordinance that was enacted by the approval of Measure B:[1]

INTRODUCTION

Without increasing the existing tax rate and to maintain high quality education for all grades by sustaining academic achievement in math, science, reading, writing,and utilizing technology; supporting engineering/medicine/biotechnology academies; attracting/retaining highly qualified teachers; and maintaining school libraries, current instructional materials/technology, shall the Dublin Unified School District renew its expiring $96 parcel tax for five years, with a senior exemption, independent oversight, no money for administrators salaries and all funds staying in Dublin schools?

PURPOSE

To provide local revenue that cannot be taken by the state and to maintain exceptional public education in our schools, the Dublin Unified School District proposes to renew and extend its expiring qualified special parcel tax for a period of five (5) years, beginning July 1, 2014, at the rate of $96 per Parcel of Taxable Real Property within the Dublin Unified School District, with an annual exemption available for seniors and persons on Supplemental Security Income, upon application, and to implement accountability measures in connection with the special parcel tax to provide oversight and accountability to ensure that the funds are used to:

a) Maintain academic achievement in math, science, reading, writing and utilizing technology support educational academies in science, engineering, medicine and biotechnology

b) Attract and retain highly qualified teachers

c) Maintain school library services

d) Maintain current instructional materials and technology for students

e) Provide ongoing teacher training in the latest instructional methods

f) Maintain small class sizes

g) Protect taxpayers' investment in education and ensure District accountability by providing for an independent community oversight committee and financial audits of revenues and expenditures.

The Board of Trustees will not fund any program orreduction other than those listed above fromthe proceeds of the special parcel taxes. The Board of Trustees will utilize parcel tax proceeds for the purposes listed above, unless the Board of Trustees determines in any given year that changes in student population, fiscal constraints, or other changes in state or federal funding make doing so infeasible or inadvisable.

PROCEDURES

Subject to two-thirds approval of the voters, the renewed and extended parcel tax shall become effective as of July 1, 2014 and be collected by the Alameda County Tax Collector at the same time as and along with, and shall be subject to the same penalties as general ad valorem taxes collected by said tax collector. The tax and penalty shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid. Any tax levied shall become a lien upon the properties against which taxes are assessed and collectible as herein provided.

With respect to all general property tax matters within its jurisdiction, the Alameda County Tax Assessor or other appropriate County tax official ("County") shall make all final determinations of tax exemption or relief for any reason, and that decision shall be final and binding. With respect to matters specific to the levy of the special parcel tax, including the Senior Citizen Exemption as allowed below, the decisions of the District shall be final and binding. The procedures described herein, and any additional procedures established by the Board of Trustees, shall be the exclusive claims procedure for claimants seeking an exemption, refund, reduction, or re-computation of the special parcel tax. Whether any particular claim is to be resolved by the District or by the County shall be determined by the District, in coordination with the County as necessary.

The District's Board of Trustees may adopt such additional or supplemental procedures as it deems necessary or convenient for the administration of the special parcel tax.

OPTIONAL EXEMPTIONS AVAILABLE

An optional exemption from the special parcel tax will be made available annually to each individual in the District who will attain 65 years of age prior to July 1 of the tax year, and who owns a beneficial interest in the parcel, and who uses that parcel as his or her principal place of residence, and who applies to the District on or before July 1, 2014, or July 1 of any succeeding tax year. Any application for such exemption must be renewed annually.

An optional exemption from the special parcel tax will also be made available annually to each individual in the District receiving Supplemental Security Income, regardless of age, who owns a beneficial interest in the parcel, and who uses that parcel as his or her principal place of residence, and who applies to the District on or before July 1, 2014, or July 1 of any succeeding tax year. Any application for such exemption must be renewed annually.

Any parcels that are contiguous to each other, used solely for one (1) owner-occupied single family residence, and held under identical ownership shall, upon approval of an application from the owners thereof submitted to the District on or before July 1, 2013, or July 1 of any succeeding year, be treated as a single parcel for purposes of the special parcel tax. Any one (1) approved application from a qualified applicant will provide such treatment for the remaining term of the special tax, so long as all of the parcels continue to be held under identical ownership and be owner-occupied.

The District shall annually provide to the County Tax Collector or other appropriate County tax official a list of parcels that the District has approved for a Senior Citizen Exemption, Supplemental Security Income Exemption, or contiguous property designation.

ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES

In accordance with the requirements of California Government Code sections 50075.1 and 50075.3, the following accountability measures, among others, shall apply to the special parcel taxes levied in accordance with this Measure: (a) the specific purposes of the special parcel tax shall be those purposes identified above; (b) the proceeds of the special parcel tax shall be applied only to those specific purposes identified above; (c) a separate, special account shall be created into which the proceeds of the special parcel taxes must be deposited; and (d) an annual written report shall be made to the Board of Trustees of the District showing (i) the amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the special taxes and (ii) the status of any projects, programs, or purposes required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the special taxes, as identified above.

In addition to the accountability measures required by state law, an independent Community Oversight Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to advise the Board on the expenditures funded by the measure in order to help ensure that said funds are spent for the purposes approved by the voters. The Community Oversight Committee will monitor the expenditures of these funds by the District and will report on an annual basis to the Board and community on how these funds have been spent.

PROTECTION OF FUNDING

Current law forbids any decrease in state or federal funding to the District because of the District's adoption of a parcel tax. However, if any such funds are reduced because of the adoption of this parcel tax, then the amount of the special parcel taxes will be reduced annually as necessary in order to restore such state or federal funding.[2]

Similar measures

Related measures

Approveda Dublin Unified School District parcel tax, Measure L (November 2008)

See also

External links

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