San Leandro Unified School District parcel tax, Measure L (November 2012)

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A San Leandro Unified School District parcel tax ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the San Leandro Unified School District in Alameda County, where it was very narrowly approved.[1]

The approval of Measure L means that a parcel tax of $39 per parcel per year will be levied on parcels in the school district. The tax will last for 5 years, resulting in annual new revenues to the school district of about $2.4 million.[1]

Under the Measure L tax, multifamily lots with five or more units will be assessed at the rate of $19/year per unit, while vacant and unimproved parcels will be assessed $39/year, and a tax of 2 cents per square foot of lot size will be levied on businesses.

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

Election results

Measure L
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 14,556 66.75%
No7,25233.25%
Final certified results from the Alameda County elections office.

Lawsuit and aftermath

A December 6, 2012 appellate court decision in the case of Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District may mean that Measure L is unconstitutional because it imposes a different rate on residential and commercial properties.[2] In January 2013, a lawsuit was filed against Measure L seeking to invalidate it on the grounds that it violates the provisions of Borikas. The attorney for the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Measure L is David Brillant, the Walnut Creek attorney who successfully argued Borikas.[3]

In order to avoid legal concerns, the San Leandro School Board voted 6-0 to make all property owners pay a flat rate of $39 per parcel instead of the varied rate approved by Measure L.[4]

Support

  • David Johnson is the president of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce. Johnson said, "Now is the time for us to join together and make our schools a priority."[1]
  • School board president Morgan Mack-Rose said, "This is a modest request, I think."[1]
  • Board member Mike Katz-Lacabe said, "I'm tired of Sacramento making the decision of what gets funded on the local level."[1]
  • San Leandro mayor Stephen Cassidy said, "We have to get our schools out of the fiscal hole that Sacramento has put them in."[5]

The official voter guide arguments in favor of Measure L were signed by:

  • Mary Styner, Eden Area ROP Teacher of the Year
  • Ellen M. Corbett, California State Senator
  • David Grodin, Chair-Elect, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce
  • Phyllis Gee, Senior Commissioner
  • Bob Macinnis, San Leandro Police Chief, Retired

Opposition

Robert Marrujo opposed Measure L. He said,

"...it's just more of the same rhetoric re-packaged to look like a solution to our budget woes.
Our schools are underfunded; as someone who worked at San Leandro High for seven years, I can tell you firsthand that is no exaggeration. I think there are few who would suggest that the schools in this district and across the state couldn't stand to see more money funneled in their direction.
However, the SLUSD and Superintendent Cindy Cathey would have us believe that the only solution is for San Leandrans, who have already funded two other initiatives on top of paying for mortgages, healthcare, and the myriad of other necessary bills and expenses, need to fork over yet more cash to right this sinking ship.
This parcel tax is a shortsighted quick-fix that does nothing to address the inherent problems within the district's spending model."[6]

The official voter guide arguments opposing Measure L were signed by:

  • Thomas R. Silva, CAAPAC Local Trustee/San Leandro Business Property Owner
  • Marc Crawford, CAAPAC Local Trustee/San Leandro Business Property Owner

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure L: To offset severe State budget cuts with emergency funding that cannot be taken by Sacramento; protect core academic math/science/reading programs and student safety; keep libraries open; retain quality teachers; maintain classroom computers, instructional technology, PE, art, music and class size; shall San Leandro Unified School District levy $39/year on single family homes and rates on commercial/other types of parcels for five years, with annual audits, citizens oversight, senior exemptions. and no money for administrator salaries?[7]

See also

External links

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References