Novato Unified School District Parcel Tax Renewal, Measure A (May 2014)

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

Measure A authorized the district to renew for eight years an expiring parcel tax of $96 per parcel, leaving the district tax rate at its current level of $251 per parcel per year. This tax was originally approved by voters in 2009 under a measure that was also called Measure A.[1][2]

According to Shelly Scott, school board president, Navato Unified School District received $4.3 million per year from its parcel tax, which amounted to a little over six and a half percent of the district's $64 million annual budget.[1][3]

The Navato Unified School District, in 2014, had about 8,000 students.[3]

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

Election results

Measure A
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 10,127 81.13%
No2,35518.87%
Election results from Marin County Elections office

Text of measure

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:[1]

To preserve quality education in Novato schools without increasing taxes and maintain stable local funding that cannot be taken by the State to: Maintain competitive science, math, engineering and other programs; Attract and retain high quality teachers; Integrate modern instructional technology to prepare students for future success; Shall Novato Unified School District renew the expiring school parcel tax at the current rate for 8 years, with an exemption for seniors, independent oversight, and no money for administrator salaries? [4]

Support

Supporters

The following individuals signed the official arguments in favor of Measure A:[1]

  • Gerald (Jerry) Peters, former president of Novato Chamber of Commerce and Novato Sanitary District Board
  • Tali Sundberg, former Novato Teacher, 59-year Novato resident
  • Sylvia Barry Novato, realtor
  • Martha Patsy White, former president of League of Women Voters and Novato Citizen of the Year in 2009
  • Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools

Arguments in favor

Shelly Scott, president of the school board, said, "There are so many things this money helps out with. We serve 8,000 kids and yet we are one of the poorest (districts in the county). So this parcel tax is a much-needed boost in the arm in terms of finances."[3]

Official arguments

The following was submitted as the official argument in favor of Measure A:[1]

Vote Yes on Measure A: renew local school funding without raising taxes. All Measure A funds stay in our Novato schools under local control - nothing can be taken by the State, and no funds can be used for administrator salaries.

Your YES vote is critical to protecting quality education in our Novato schools. measure A renews funding that is set to expire and will keep great teachers in our classrooms, maintain competitive academic programs and make sure students have the instructional technology they need for future success.

Measure A will NOT raise your taxes - it wil simply renew existing local school funding that our community has supported for over 20 years, and the State can't take a penny.

Vote YES to protect quality education in Novato schools:

  • Maintain competitive science, engineering and math programs and protect the quality of academic instruction in core subjects
  • Attract and retain high-quality teachers and maintaining manageable class sizes
  • Provide career and technical training and integrate modern instructional technology to prepare students for future success
  • Protect music, arts, library and athletics programs

Fiscal accountability is required:

  • Nothing can be taken by the State
  • No funds can be used for administrator salaries
  • Independent citizens oversight and required annual reports ensure funds are spent properly
  • Seniors are eligible for an exemption
  • Since 1992, our community has supported Novato schools with local funding. This support continues to be essential to keeping our schools great and protecting student achievement.
  • Measure A simply renews existing school funding which is set to expire, without increasing taxes.

We are all proud of our high quality schools in Novato, and they help keep our community and our property values strong.

Join parents, teachers, seniors, business owners and community members - vote YES on Measure A to keep Novato schools strong! [4]

—A. Gerald (Jerry) Peters, Tali Sundberg, Sylvia Barry Novato, Martha Patsy White, Mary Jane Burke, [1]

Editorials

  • The Marin Independent Journal editorial board argued for a "yes" vote on Measure A, pointing out that the Novato Unified School District had a minimal parcel tax compared to many other nearby school districts and that the district taxpayers had the smallest school parcel tax payments in Marin County. The Marin Independent Journal editorial said:[2]

Compared with other school districts in Marin, Novato's Measure A is a modest amount. It is revenue, however, that is vital to classroom programs; art, music and technology courses, and high school sports. It helps make sure that Novato public school students have the kinds of academic and enrichment opportunities in their schools that Novato residents feel, as a community, should be made available to them.

Measure A is a sign of Novato community's support for its public schools and providing educational opportunities for local children.

The IJ recommends Novato voters support Measure A in the May 6 vote. [4]

—Marin Independent Journal editorial board, [2]

Opposition

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

Polls

School officials announced early in 2014 that polling showed about 67 percent voter approval for Measure A, which required a 66.67 percent approval rate to pass.[5]

Path to the ballot

The board of directors of the Novato Unified School District unanimously voted to put the Measure A tax renewal on the May ballot.[3]

Similar measures

Related measures

Approveda Novato Unified School District parcel tax, Measure A (June 2009)

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References