Piedmont Unified School District parcel tax, Measure A (March 2013)

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A Piedmont Unified School District parcel tax, Measure A ballot question was on the March 5, 2013 ballot for voters in the Piedmont Unified School District in Alameda County, where it was approved.[1]

Measure A authorized the school district to levy a parcel tax of $2,406 per parcel per year. It will last for eight years.

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

Election results

Measure A
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 3,414 76.5%
No1,04923.5%
These final, certified, results are from the Alameda County elections office.

Support

Sue Lin and Reuben Rivera supported Measure A. They said, "We are grateful for this Administration's dedication and focus on supporting the students/children and for a School Board that continues to work well with the Administrators. The theme of 'continuous improvement' rings true despite the years of PUSD budget woes which are the result of state government cuts. An 8 year renewal of the parcel tax would allow the district to spend less time preparing and working on the passage of a parcel tax and more time on students and evolving curriculum. Piedmont."[2]

Kerri Lubin, a retired teacher, supported Measure A.[3]

Opposition

Bruce Joffe, a resident of Piedmont, opposed Measure A. He said that it is "deeply flawed." He also argued that since a pre-existing parcel tax in the district was not set to expire until June 2014, the school district had time to fix what he saw as the problems with Measure A and place a re-vamped measure on one of several ballots in between now and June 2014.[4]

Joffe also said, "This tax charges small parcel owners as much as 40 to 80 times more per square foot than large parcel owners. A fair and uniform tax would levy the same amount per square foot...It would be unfair to lock in a tax that is higher for nearly 3,000 owners of smaller parcels while reducing the tax on approximately 800 of the largest parcels, compared with the current tax charge. There is adequate time to fix this inequity before Piedmont needs to approve another school tax."[4]

Additionally, Joffe said that Measure A as drafted does not provide for independent review. He said, "I want Piedmont's schools to be top-ranked, and I am willing to pay taxes to achieve this. But I need to know that our tax money is being used as efficiently and effectively as possible. It would behoove our School Board to secure a truly independent review and oversight of activities and finances for which they are responsible."[4]

Impact of Borikas

A December 6, 2012 appellate court ruling in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District led the board of the Piedmont Unified School District to alter its plans for how it would structure Measure A. The school district issued a press release which said, in part, "The Court’s decision requires the Board to consider a change to the Piedmont Unified School District’s (PUSD) proposed school support tax measure, scheduled to appear on the March 5, 2013 special election ballot. Based on the Legislature’s authorizing language for school districts to levy special qualified taxes such as parcel taxes, the Court held that such taxes must be uniform for all parcels within the district other than two narrow exemptions in the statute."[5]

See also

External links

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References