West Contra Costa Unified School District parcel tax, Measure M (November 2010)

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A West Contra Costa Unified School District parcel tax, Measure M ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the West Contra Costa Unified School District in Contra Costa County.[1] It was defeated.

The tax, if voters had approved it, would have been 7.2 cents per square foot of building area, or $7.20 per vacant parcel. The tax would have lasted for five years. The owner of a home that is 1,500 square feet would have paid $108 each year under Measure M.

Voters in the district approved Measure D, a $380 million construction bond, on the June 8, 2010 ballot.

A two-thirds supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure M
Defeatedd No24,01740.64%
Yes 35,078 59.36%
These final, certified results are from the Contra Costa County elections office.


Bruce Harter, superintendent of the district, published a note on the district's website saying that the West Contra Costa school district is in its worst financial situation since it filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s. Harter talked about the fiscal impact to the district of state cuts in school spending, saying, "According to state statute, WCCUSD should be receiving $6,390 per pupil in base revenue for 2010-11. But state budget cuts to education have taken $1,440 per pupil."[2]


The editorial board of the Oakland Tribune encouraged the paper's readers to vote "no," saying, "Measure M would raise total property tax supplements for schools in the near future from $900 annually to $1,008 for a small house, and from $1,692 to $1,872 for a large house. Measure M would expire in 2015. Last spring, when we endorsed the district's latest bond measure, we said that would be it. We're surprised that the school board is coming back now for an additional parcel tax. The district shouldn't be asking for both in one year."[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

To provide local funding the State cannot take away, and preserve quality education by: providing manageable class sizes to improve core academics like math, science, reading/ writing, restoring arts/ music programs, attracting/ retaining quality teachers, improving campus safety/ cleanliness, preparing students for college and workforce, shall West Contra Costa Unified School District charge an annual tax of 7.2 cents per square foot of building area, or $7.20 per vacant parcel for five years, exempting seniors and requiring independent citizen oversight?[4]

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