Menlo Park City School District parcel tax, Measure C (May 2010)

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A Menlo Park City School District parcel tax, Measure C ballot question was on the May 4, 2010 ballot for voters in the Menlo Park City School District in San Mateo County, where it was approved.[1][2]

Voters were asked to approve an annual $178 tax for every real estate parcel in the district. The new Measure C tax will be in force for 7 years. Residents of the district already pay a $565 annual parcel tax. The new tax is expected to raise about $1.37 million each year.[3]

The district's 5-member school board, looking for ways to reduce the district's projected $3.55 million two-year budget shortfall, approved putting the tax request on the May ballot in a meeting in early February.[4]

The Menlo Park City School district had four campuses and serves about 2,500 students.[5]

According to Superintendent Kenneth Ranella, the district would have had to make a total of about $1.2 million in reductions in 2011, and take about $1 million out of its reserve fund, if the Measure C parcel tax question had been rejected.

The district would have had to impose a parcel tax of around $303/parcel to eliminate the district's anticipated budget gap, but the school board did not believe that voters would approve a tax of $303. The proposed tax was set at $178 because the board agreed that voters are most likely to approve this level of increased taxation.[1]

The election was administered on a mail-in ballot-only basis. The cost of administering the mail-in election was estimated at $9.00/voter.[6]

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

Election results

Measure C
Approveda Yes 5,877 76.1%
These final, certified, election results are from the San Mateao County elections office (timed out).

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure C: "To protect the excellent schols serving the children of our community by maintaining small class sizes and high quality teachers in the face of deep state budget cuts and growing local enrollment, shall the Menlo Park City School District levy a 7-year parcel tax of $178 per year, adjusted annually for inflation, to be spent only on teachers and essential educational programs, with an exemption available to individuals age 65 and over?"[7]

Ballot drop-off locations

Although the election was primarily mail-in, there were several locations where voters for Measure C or nearby Measure D could drop off ballots:[8]

  • 91 Ashfield Road in Atherton
  • 701 Laurel St. in Menlo Park
  • 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley.
  • The Elections Office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo.

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