Pacific Grove Unified School District parcel tax, Measure A (November 2012)

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A Pacific Grove Unified School District parcel tax, Measure A ballot question was on the November 6, 2012 ballot for voters in the Pacific Grove Unified School District in Monterey County, where it was narrowly defeated.[1]

On December 5, 2012 the Pacific Grove Unified School District requested a manual recount of Measure A. The recount added one additional yes vote, but the measure still narrowly failed to reach the required two-thirds majority to pass.[2][3]

If Measure A had been approved, it would have authorized the Pacific Grove Unified School District to "replace and extend" its previously approved parcel tax with a new tax of $65 per parcel. This would have been in effect for five years. Measure A would have generated about $500,000 a year for the district.[1] The tax that Measure A would have replaced is Measure X. Measure X is a tax of $35/year. It is set to expire in 2013.

Previously, voters in the Pacific Grove Unified School District rejected Measure V, which was on the November 8, 2011 ballot. Measure V was a proposal to hike the parcel tax to $60/year for four years. It achieved a "yes" vote of 64.42%, but since parcel tax measures require a 2/3rds supermajority vote, it failed.

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

Election results

Measure A
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No3,09233.63%
Yes 6,103 66.37%
Final official results from the Monterey County elections office.

Support

Kathleen Lee was a member of the campaign committee devoted to the passage of Measure A. She said, "Our community as a whole benefits, even if you don't have children in the schools. For me, it's important for children to have the breadth of programs supported by the measure." Lee also said that the district is careful with its money: "They've been very cautious where they allocate the money without being extravagant."[1]

John Paff, a mechanical engineer and a resident of Pacific Grove, supported Measure A. He said, "The [potential] failure of Proposition 30 statewide has the potential to take not just PGUSD but hundreds of districts statewide and toss them to the ground. Measure A is a soft landing for the district in the event that Proposition 30 fails. The threat of a loss of over 4 percent of the school funding ($950,000) against a reserve of 15 percent means that in about three years there is no reserve. Add in the additional $495,000 that Measure A provides and much of the pain can be remediated over that same time frame, providing PGUSD a far more balanced approach."[4]

Opposition

Carl Mounteer and David Henderson opposed Measure A. They said, "If the governor's tax initiative passes and the PGUSD tax measure passes, PGUSD will have lavished itself with a windfall in more tax dollars it does not need and will undoubtedly waste."[1]

They also wrote, "GUSD has a history of poor judgment in spending tax dollars. For example, with the money from Measure D, the district spent $6.8 million for a new sports stadium. This exceeded the total estimated costs for the Forest Grove ($1.6 million) and Robert Down ($4.2 million) school modernization projects. And it spent $2.6 million for the high school 'sub gym lobby.' This exceeds, by $1 million, the estimated costs for the entire Forest Grove modernization project."[5]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

MEASURE A: "To aid in preserving educational quality in our schools in the face of Statewide budget cuts, including but not limited to science, math, music, art, computers and libraries; maintain small class sizes; and retain teachers; shall Pacific Grove Unified School District levy $65 per parcel for five years to replace and extend the previously approved tax with independent citizens’ oversight committee, and all funds spent locally and no money used for administrative salaries or taken by the State?"

See also

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