Oakland Unified School District parcel tax, Measure L (November 2010)

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An Oakland Unified School District parcel tax, Measure L ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the Oakland Unified School District in Alameda County. It was defeated.[1]

The tax, if it had been approved by a supermajority vote, would have been $195 per parcel per year, lasting for 10 years. It was expected to raise $20 million/year.[2]

If the tax had passed, 80% of proceeds from the tax would have been used to hike salaries by about 6% for teachers in the district.[2] The average teacher salary in the district was $54,000 at the time of this election.[1]

On November 4, 2008, OUSD voters rejected the Measure N parcel tax. Measure N would have cost taxpayers $120 per year per parcel for ten years. It was expected to generate about $20 million.[3]

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

Election results

Measure L
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No36,39034.05%
Yes 70,471 65.95%
These final, certified results are from the Alameda County elections office.

Overall tax burden

According to Chip Johnson, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, "...if voters approve every tax measure sought by the city and the Oakland Unified School District this November, the average Oakland resident would have to pay an extra $627 a year. That would nearly double the local tax bill to about $1,400 a year."[4]

Other tax measures on the Oakland ballot were Measure BB, Measure X, Measure V and Measure W. Oakland voters were also impacted by Measure F.[5]

Support

"Yes on L" campaign logo

The editorial board of the Oakland Tribune was in favor of a "yes" vote, saying, "Oakland school taxes are already high, but they are not in the same league as West Contra Costa and Berkeley. For that reason, and given the severe challenges the district faces, we support this measure, but with a warning: This should be it. Don't come back asking city residents to pay even more."[6]

Measure L was endorsed by close to one hundred individuals, elected officials and organizations. See full list of endorsements.

Union neutrality

The Oakland teachers union had adopted a position of neutrality toward Measure L.[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure L: To offset severe state budget cuts, improve student achievement, help every child read at or above grade level, and prepare students for college and careers by retaining teachers, teachers’ aides, safety officers and other student support staff, shall Oakland Unified School District levy a tax of $195 per parcel annually for ten years, with low- income taxpayer exemptions, independent audits and citizens’ oversight, and no money for Sacramento or administrators’ salaries?[7]

See also

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