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Las Virgenes Unified School District parcel tax, Measure K (November 2011)

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A Las Virgenes Unified School District parcel tax, Measure K ballot question was on the November 8, 2011 ballot for voters in the Las Virgenes School District in Los Angeles County and Ventura County, where it was defeated.

If Measure K had been approved, a parcel tax of $95/year will have been levied for eight (8) years. This will have generated about $2.2 million each year for the district, or $17.6 million over eight years.[1][2]

In 2004, voters in the Las Virgenes Unified School District approved a $98/year parcel tax. That tax goes through 2015, and raises $2.3 million each year for the district.[1]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for passage.

Election results

Measure K
County: Yes No
Votes  % Votes  %
Los Angeles County 4,290 56.60% 3,290 43.40%
Ventura County 170 59.03% 118 40.97%
Totals: 4,460 56.69% 3,408 43.31%
Election results are from the Los Angeles County elections office and the Ventura County elections office.

Supporters

"Citizens for Excellent Las Virgenes Schools, Yes On Measure K" is the campaign committee working for a "yes" vote n Measure K. Through mid-October, this group has raised about $75,000.[3]

  • Former school board member Patricia Schulz: "The state has not, is not doing its job funding education, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to in the foreseeable future. The great thing about a parcel tax is that the money stays in the district."[2]
  • Ziona Friedlander: "I like parcel taxes because every penny stays in the school district. That gives me a great feeling of confidence that the money is going to be well spent."[1]
  • The Calabasas City Council voted unanimously to endorse a "yes" vote on Measure K. Jonathon Wolfson, a member of the Calabasas City Council, said, "The reason why property values remain high is because of the excellent public schools."[2]
  • Agoura Hills Mayor Harry Schwarz: "With withering state support to our schools, now is the time for everyone to come together and support our children by voting yes on Measure K. That is why all five members of the Agoura Hills City Council gave their personal early endorsement . . . and why we are working on passing a resolution showing support from our community."[2]
  • The editorial board of the Ventura County Star supports Measure K, saying, "Ultimately, this is a decision each voter must make. Some may have reservations because the district already has a $98-a-year parcel tax, Measure E, scheduled to expire after 2015. Voters approved it in 2004 following earlier state cuts — which Sacramento still hasn't restored. A local citizens oversight committee reports that Measure E revenues are being used appropriately and effectively...Good schools aren't free, even if a public education is supposed to be. It's up to voters to say whether excellent schools are still important to the community. We think they are."[4]
  • The Agoura Hills City Council: "We all have endorsed this previously as members of the community, and as individuals, but what we’re doing tonight is taking official action. It gives it a little bit more gravitas ... that it’s not just that we think it’s important as individuals, we think it’s important for the city and for the community."[5]

TBWD Strategies was hired by the school district to help get the measure passed. At a school board meeting on July 26, the firm reported that a public opinion survey they conducted, paid for by the district, found that 66% of those polled would support a tax in the range of $114/year.[2]

Opposition

  • Andrew Laurent, a resident of Calabasas, says: "I did vote for the first parcel tax in 2004, but I never dreamed that it might become a permanent part of my already high tax rate. I own my house and in these tough economic times I feel it is just one more burden being passed along to the tax payer. If people want to contribute extra money for the schools perhaps a better solution would be for the city or state to give a tax break to people who contribute to the schools. But, I feel strongly that it should not be made mandatory."[2]
  • Barbara Murphy, co-founder of Citizens Against New Local Taxes, says: "The facts don’t justify another tax. . . . As in-district enrollment declines, LVUSD brings in more and more students who live outside our district. LVUSD should adequately manage its finances, not keep asking taxpayers for more money."[2]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE K: To provide local school funding that cannot be taken by state government; retain high-quality teachers; preserve smaller class sizes; minimize teacher layoffs; and protect academic opportunities and high achievement in science, math, reading and the arts; shall Las Virgenes Unified School District serving Bell Canyon establish a parcel tax of $95 annually for eight years, exempting seniors, and guaranteeing independent fiscal oversight, no funds for administrators, and every dollar to local schools preserving quality education?[6]

Cost of election

See also: Costs of administering local elections

It will cost about $200,000 to administer the election on Measure K. The school district will have to pay this fee.[7]

See also

External links

References