Survey: Voters would easily approve $294 million bond measure for high schools
Original post made
on Feb 13, 2014
Voters in the Sequoia high school district would likely approve a bond measure to rebuild campuses, including Menlo-Atherton and Woodside, and raise taxes by as much as $16 per $100,000 of a property's assessed value, according to a recent survey.
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posted Thursday, February 13, 2014, 11:26 AM
Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 24, 2014 at 10:02 am
> Hint, hint - there is no State bailout, and no parcel tax
That's only what you think because you understand nothing about the implications of Prop 13.
Once upon a time (1978) every Local Agency District had its own tax rate. The statewide average of all of these taxes (county, city, education, fire, police, etc) added up to 2.67% of current year property assessments.
But then "we" passed Prop 13, and all of these 2.67% taxes were pooled together and compressed into a cap of 1% (as a county collected/pooled tax) + voter approved bond tax/bond measures.
Obviously 2.67% is a LOT more than 1% and yet no fiscal crisis occurred in 1979. Why is that? That's because the state had a huge surplus at that time. So, for 3 years, the state made all of these LAFCO districts whole via, wait for it, a STATE BAILOUT. So through 1981, the impact of Prop 13 was very muted.
But in 1981, legislators woke up and realized, oops, we can't make these guys whole forever or we're going to obviously go broke. They had already proportionally allocated the property tax from 1979 (ie, if your district was charging say, 10% of the collected (2.67%) tax in '78, then you were getting 10% of the new 1% cap in '79 and being BAILED OUT by the state for the rest.
So, what did they do in 1981 going forward. The state bailout was ending, how would we everybody survive? Well, police and fire went to the head of the line and received re-diversion of the 1% county funds to replace, wait for it, 95%(!) of the BAILOUT amount.
And where did those back filled funds some from? Wait for it.... DIRECTLY from County Education funds!
But then you say, how did schools survive? Well, 95% of them switched over to being directly funded by the state at a significantly reduced rate based on per student days but without any direct provision for capital construction.
But the you say, well, the state is the one subsidizing your education costs, and for 95% of the state, that would be a true statement. But our Sequoia High School District is a "basic aid" district, which means that since our local property taxes exceed the state allocation, the California Constitution lets us keep the total amount of our local apportionment. But while that local apportionment is indeed greater than the state allocation, it is still only half of what we would have been allocated as a percentage in 1978.
Today, it's less (way less) because that money is being allocated to, wait for it, police and fire.
Now in 1992, the state realized that it wasn't going to be able to continue financing all of education, so they asked for some money back from the local districts (ERAF). And that sucked for police and fire how now found themselves short financed. So they took it to the ballot in the form of Prop 172 which exempted them from the worst of the ERAF reallocation.
Still, overall the Sequoia District has seen significant and consequential reductions of its property tax base while, say for example, the Menlo Fire Protection District has not.
And that is why at $16 per $1000 of assessed value, the cost of this bond is still less (by a wide margin) than the amount lost from Prop 13 tax base reduction.