San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District parcel tax, Measure A (February 2010)

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A San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District parcel tax, Measure A ballot proposition was on the February 23, 2010 ballot for voters in the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District in San Mateo County, where it was very narrowly approved.[1]

The San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District already had a parcel tax in place. This ballot question asked voters to:

  • Extend the existing parcel tax for seven more years.
  • Increase the tax by $96/year, for a total parcel tax of about $180.

The school district has had a parcel tax since 1991. Prior to the vote in February 2010 on Measure A, voters had most recently renewed the tax in June 2003, with an expiration date of 2010. The tax approved in 2003 was for $75/year with a built-in increase for inflation. The built-in increase for inflation led to the tax being set at $87 in early 2010.

The district's parcel tax, before Measure A passed, brought in about $2 million/year. Another $3 million will flow to the district from this special tax, for a total of about $5/million a year from the parcel tax.

The San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District said that it would have to lay off about 118 employees if Measure A was defeated.[2]

The election was a mail-in ballot election.[3][4]

A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for approval.[5]

Election results

Measure A
Approveda Yes 14,689 67.0%
These final, certified, results are from the San Mateo County elections office.


The official ballot argument in favor of Measure A was signed by Carole Groom, Melodie Lew, William Chow, Ruth Nagler and Phyllis Harris.

Their argument said:

  • "Without passage of Measure A, our schools will lose approximately $6 million a year, on top of the over $18 million in State cuts since 2007. Cuts of this magnitude will devastate our elementary and middle schools. To prevent significant cuts to core academic programs, Measure A has been placed on the February 2010 ballot. The existing tax will be increased by a modest $8 a month more than taxpayers currently pay."
  • "Passage of Measure A will help prevent the most devastating cuts to core academic programs and will provide stable local funding that cannot be taken away by the state. Independent fiscal oversight and audits are required and seniors are eligible for an exemption."


The campaign for a "yes" vote on Measure A raised close to $50,000.

Donors included:

  • HKIT Architectural (based in Oakland): $5,000
  • WLC Architects (based in Rancho Cucamonga): $5,000
  • California Teachers Association: $3,000
  • Baywood PTA: $3,000
  • Highlands School PTA: $3,000
  • School board trustee Lory Lawson: $2,413
  • Committee for San Mateo-Foster City Schools: $2,239.30
  • AEDIS Architectural (based in San Jose): $2,000
  • Pace of CSEA-Issues: $2,000
  • San Mateo Elementary Administrative Association: $1,000
  • Abbott PTA: $999
  • Brewer Island PTA: $999
  • North Shoreview Montessori PTA: $999.99
  • Meadow Heights PTA: $950
  • Bowditch PTA: $946
  • Bayside Middle School PTSA: $750
  • George Hall PTA: $750
  • Fiesta Gardens PTA: $500
  • Laurel PTA: $500
  • College Park Elementary PTA: $500
  • School board trustee Mark Hudak: $500
  • Superintendent Pendery Clark: $500


The official ballot argument against Measure A was signed by Harland Harrison and John J. Jack Hickey.

Their argument said:

  • Government’s appetite for higher taxes and still higher spending never ends.
  • Consider all the taxes we pay, most of them at record highs:
• Property Taxes (plus special assessments)
• School Bond Taxes (districts, county)
• Sales Taxes (county and state)
• Income Taxes (state and federal)
• Vehicle License fees & taxes
• Gas taxes (state and federal)
• Telecommunications taxes
• additional excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, tires, etc.
  • If high taxes encouraged balanced budgets and responsible spending, California would be the best-run state in the nation! But the opposite is true—
  • Record revenue engendered bloated payrolls and unsustainable benefits schemes; outstripping our ability to pay for them. No amount of revenue can prevent politicians from spending more money than they take in.
  • The state government’s school districts are out-of-control: consuming almost half of the state budget, and borrowing recklessly, to spend even more. And, on top of all that, they have the gall to ask for higher parcel taxes too?
  • We couldn’t stop Sacramento from raising sales and income taxes last year, —but we can finally put an end to one long-standing “temporary” parcel tax. Now is our opportunity.
  • Please vote ‘NO’. This superfluous surtax is just plain greedy.

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE A: "To protect local schools from damaging State budget cuts, provide stable local funding that cannot be taken away by the State, and preserve quality education by attracting and retaining qualified teachers and staff, maintaining school libraries, providing middle school art and music programs and supporting small class sizes, shall San Mateo-Foster City School District increase the expiring school parcel tax by $96 for seven years, with annual cost of living adjustments, exemptions for seniors and independent fiscal oversight?"[6]

See also

External links