League of Women Voters of California
Special Tax for Education
Burlingame Elementary School District
2/3 Voter Approval Required
3,790 / 71.9% Yes votes ...... 1,479 / 28.1% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To keep good teachers, maintain small class sizes, support reading programs and libraries, and preserve educational quality, shall the Burlingame School District levy an annual special tax of $76 per parcel for 8 years (and raise its annual appropriation limit accordingly) to offset severe school funding cuts arising from California's state budget crisis, with all expenditures monitored by an independent volunteer oversight committee and exempting parcels owned and occupied by persons 65 years of age or older?
In 1993, the voters in the Burlingame Elementary School District approved a special tax in an amount of $64 per year per parcel. In 1997, the voters extended the $64 tax and approved an additional special tax of $40, both of which expire June 30, 2005. By this measure, the District's Board of Trustees proposes to levy a new annual special tax of $76 per parcel for 8 years commencing July 1, 2003 and expiring June 30, 2011.
A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District which now receives a separate tax bill from San Mateo County. Any person 65 years of age or older who owns and occupies a parcel as a principal residence may qualify for an exemption from the special tax. All property which would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from imposition of this special tax.
The purposes of the special tax are to: maintain teachers, class sizes, support reading programs and libraries. The tax will not be used for administrative salaries.
The proceeds of the special tax will be placed into a special account. The Board of Trustees must file an annual report accounting for the parcel tax revenues collected and the manner in which they have been spent.
This measure would also increase the District's appropriations limit per fiscal year, in an amount equal to the levy of the special tax for that year, as permitted by Article XIIIB, section 4 of the California Constitution.
A "yes" vote on this measure would allow a new special tax to be levied on property within the boundaries of the Burlingame Elementary School District in an amount of up to $76 per year per taxable parcels in the District to be used to maintain teachers, class sizes, support reading programs and libraries. It would also allow the appropriations (spending) limit to be raised.
A "no" vote on this measure would not allow the special tax to be levied and would not allow the appropriations limit to be raised.
This measure passes if two-thirds of those voting on the measure vote "yes."
|Arguments For Measure A||Arguments Against Measure A|
|Burlingame elementary and middle schools face a serious, immediate crisis due to substantial cuts in state funding. The district must cut over $500,000 from next year's budget - laying off up to 15 teachers and slashing funding
for reading, writing, math and library programs.
Measure A will prevent these cuts and protect the high quality of education we expect from Burlingame schools.
Looming cuts facing the Burlingame School District will have a serious impact on the quality of education in the classroom, including the teaching of the basics like reading, writing and math.
Measure A is necessary to:
A volunteer citizen oversight committee will monitor spending to ensure that Measure A funds are spent only for voter-approved purposes to maintain or improve the quality of education in the classroom. Residents 65 years and older may choose to be exempt from this measure.
Funding for Burlingame schools now ranks 18th out of 23 San Mateo County school districts. Measure A will raise $530,000 per year - just enough to help our local schools survive the current state budget crisis.
Without Measure A, the severe cuts facing the school district will substantially harm the quality of education local elementary and middle school students receive. Good schools are critical for maintaining high property values, and the state budget crisis has brought our local school district to a critical point.
Please join us and hundreds of your neighbors in voting YES on Measure A to protect the education of our local Burlingame students.
/s/ Marlys Loveall
/s/ Vic Mangini
/s/ Yvonne Wun
/s/ Mary H. Janney
/s/ Julie Blumer Meyers
Balderdash! If Measure A were intended to address a (potential) decline in revenue, it would not ask you to authorize an increase in spending beyond the Gann limit. The Gann limit already permits spending to increase in proportion to inflation and school population.
Ordinarily, the Gann Limit should reduce your tax rate in subsequent years if total revenue growth later exceeded this inflation/population formula--the right behavior for addressing a temporary revenue shortfall. Instead, Measure A waives your Gann Limit rights so they can keep increasing their spending-whether they truly need more money or not.
1990's Extravagance: The proponents suggest that all the spending increases of the dot-com boom years are now essential. We don't believe it. Burlingame was a great school district when it had only 80 full-time equivalent teachers, just 10 years ago. Increasing the payroll to 133 FTE teachers in only 5 years was immoderate and wasteful. A small rollback wouldn't be the end of the world.
Defend Freedom- Citizens who wish to give more money to schools can do so without Measure A. Please don't coerce the needy and unwilling to empty their pockets too.
/s/ Jack Hickey
/s/ Christopher "Kit" Schmidt
We all want our public schools to be adequately funded. That's why we ALREADY pay property taxes, plus state and federal income taxes.
--And property tax revenue in Burlingame mushroomed in the 1990's, growing 32% between 1997 and 2000 alone!
The District nevertheless went tax crazy, levying 5 additional bond and parcel taxes since 1993.
The dot-com boom is over, but school officials would like to keepincreasing spending as though it never ended. Amazingly, even thoughthey continue to collect all 5 of the special taxes enacted during the 1990's, they now want another new tax. Does their greed know no bounds?
Since 1993, income from regular property taxes increased 66% - bringing the schools an additional $3.7 million per year - making the existing ("temporary") parcel taxes superfluous, and further tax increases unnecessary.
That's an average increase of 6.5% increase per year - far outstripping inflation. In fact, regular local property tax revenue - not counting parcel taxes - grew to provide 15% more money to the District than it received from all sources combined just 8 years earlier.
Time for compassion:
Many of our neighbors are close to the edge of insolvency. It is not right to ask them to pay more in taxes because some government administrators don't want to face up to the reality that revenue can't be expected to increase every year as it did in the last decade.
Gasoline and health costs are skyrocketing, and many of us are struggling to make ends meet - especially those who have been laid off.
Please vote `No', and ask the District to learn to live within a budget like the rest of us.
/s/ John J. Hickey
/s/ Christopher VA Schmidt
It is no secret that California's state budget crisis is causing layoffs and reduced services at every level of government. Our local elementary schools are no exception: without Measure A, our students face the loss of qualified, experienced teachers, reading specialists, librarians, art, music and funding for classroom supplies. These cuts will seriously impact the quality of education in the classroom.
We recognize that times are not easy for anyone, including our students and many of our neighbors who are senior citizens and may be living on fixed incomes. That's why Measure A is a scaled-back, reasonable solution:
... There is an exemption for residents 65 and older.
... The amount - about $6 per month (or 20 cents a day) - is greatly reduced.
... Measure A will generate just enough to cover the budget cuts which are coming down from the state.
... By law, every dollar from this measure will stay in the Burlingame School District and cannot be taken by the state.
... A volunteer citizen oversight committee will monitor all Measure A spending.
... Measure A will sunset in 8 years.
Measure A is necessary to protect local students from the state budget crisis. Please join us in supporting them.
/s/ Bruce Carlton
/s/ Ellen Mazzoni
/s/ Rudy Benton
/s/ Ross Bruce
/s/ Robert Zipkin
|Full Text of Measure A|
|To keep good teachers, maintain small class sizes, support reading programs and libraries, and maintain educational quality, shall the Burlingame School District levy an annual special tax of $76 per parcel for 8 years (and raise its annual appropriation limit accordingly) to offset severe school funding cuts arising from California's state budget crisis, with all expenditures monitored by an independent volunteer oversight committee and exempting parcels owned and occupied by persons 65 years of age or older, by undertaking such actions as:
(a) generating local funding for our schools that cannot be taken away by the State of California and used for other purposes;
Under no circumstances will any of the proceeds of the special tax be used for administrative salaries. An exemption will be granted for any parcel owned by one or more persons 65 years of age or older who occupies a parcel as a principal residence, following an application for exemption.
To provide additional accountability, a volunteer community budget advisory committee will be appointed by the Board of Trustees of the District to monitor all expenditures funded by this Measure to ensure that the funds are spent wisely and used only for the purposes approved by the voters. The budget advisory committee will report on an annual basis to the community on how these funds have been spent.
A parcel is defined as a unit of land in the District which now receives a separate tax bill from the San Mateo County Assessor's Office. All property which would otherwise be exempt from property taxes also will be exempt from the special tax.
This Measure also will increase the District's Gann appropriation limit in an amount equal to the special tax for each year the special tax is authorized, as permitted by Article XIIIB, Section 4 of the California Constitution. This increase is required for the District to use the funds generated by the special tax.