Harland Harrison, Chair of the San Mateo County Libertarian Party filed the Argument Against. I am also a signatory to the argument. We invite concerned taxpayers of the MPCSD to join us in preparing and submitting a Rebuttal Argument which is due 12/27/16.
Argument Against Measure ____
Menlo Park City Elementary School District Parcel Tax
In May 2016, the Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) placed TWO parcel taxes on an all-mail ballot. They BOTH FAILED.
Proponents blamed the 2/3 vote requirement for their loss, but the 2/3 vote protects property owners from the whims of short-sighted alarmists. Lowering the 2/3 requirement for school bonds has created a massive increase in bonded indebtedness and our children will be stuck with the bill.
Now, only 10 months after losing two tax measures, MPCSD returned in this off-year election. This time, a YES vote would raise their CPI adjusted “take” to about $1,044 per parcel. Voting NO would allow that total to drop to around $684.
MPCSD does not need any more taxes and has budget plans which do not require them. The 1% General Property Tax already includes taxes for MPCSD. Parcel taxes are levied above that 1% tax, as are the additional taxes servicing over $130,000,000 bonded indebtedness of MPCSD.
Californians pay plenty for education. Nearly half of all general fund taxes in California are spent on education. Then, there are State “on behalf” payments, (from our taxes), to service bonds providing “matching funds” to the District. Voters already authorized bonds for MPCSD, for $91.1 million in 2006 and $23 million in 2013. If you choose to vote NO on this parcel tax, don’t let anyone accuse you of not supporting education!
If school districts in California face budget problems, blame the unfunded liabilities in California’s “defined benefit” pension plans, CalPERS and CalSTRS. People in the private sector saw retirement plans devastated by the financial meltdown in 2008, but not public employees. Government should solve its long-term problem of pension funds, instead of continually asking for tax increases.
Meanwhile, Menlo Park City School District can continue to provide an above average education with their existing revenue. Vote NO on another parcel tax.