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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Special District

El Rancho Unified School District
Measure RR Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results

Failed

12,935 votes yes (65.85%)

6,707 votes no (34.15%)

100% of precincts reporting (35/35).

Parcel Tax to Improve Student Learning
— undefined

To support academic excellence, prepare Pico Rivera students for college and quality jobs, raise teacher salaries, retain quality teachers and staff, provide every student access to high quality arts education, including music and performing arts, and improve instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, shall El Rancho Unified School District authorize an annual $99 per-parcel tax for 9 years, exempting senior citizens and people with disabilities, requiring independent oversight and all funds used locally to improve student learning?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

County Counsel Mary C. Wickham

Approval of Measure RR (“Measure”) would authorize the Governing Board (“Board”) of the El Rancho Unified School District (“District”), which placed the Measure on the ballot by Resolution No. 02-2016/2017, to levy a special parcel tax (“Tax”) in the amount of $99 on each parcel of taxable real property that receives a separate tax bill within the District, commencing July 1, 2017, and continuing for nine (9) years from that date.

Proceeds from the Tax shall be used only for the purposes specified in the Measure, including, but not limited to, hiring music teachers for elementary and middle school students; providing annual workshops with community-based musicians for all middle and high school music students; funding annual music field trips, competitions, and/or public performances; purchasing and maintaining instruments and equipment; investing in instruments and equipment to support the expansion of music programming; providing continuing funding over the duration of the Tax to support the hiring of teachers, purchasing of equipment, and funding of programs from the first year of arts education; raising teacher and support staff salaries to aid in recruiting and retaining well-qualified teachers and support staff; and providing instruction in math, science, technology and the arts. Tax proceeds may not be used for administrator salaries, benefits or pensions.

Any parcels that are otherwise exempt from ad valorem taxes shall also be exempt from the Tax in such year. Parcels that are contiguous and used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes, and held under the identical ownership may apply to the District to be treated as a single parcel. In addition, upon application to the District, the Tax shall not apply to a residential property owner: (a) at least 65 years or older; or (b) receiving Supplemental Security Income disability benefits, regardless of age; or (c) receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, and whose annual income is below a maximum threshold.

The District shall annually retain an independent auditor to audit the expenditure of parcel tax revenues. The District shall establish a Parcel Tax Oversight Committee (“Committee”) to review the expenditure of parcel tax revenues. An annual expenditure plan shall be developed by the District in consultation with the Committee to make recommendations for expenditures that are consistent with the Measure. Tax proceeds shall be deposited in a separate, special account.

The Tax shall be collected by the County Treasurer and Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner as ad valorem property taxes, and shall be subject to the same penalties applicable to ad valorem property taxes. The Tax shall bear interest at the same rate as for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid.

This Measure requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote for passage.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

FULL TEXT OF BALLOT MEASURE RR

EL RANCHO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

School Parcel Tax Measure RR

INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE

To support academic excellence and provide students with the skills they need to prepare for college and jobs of the future, to ensure access to quality arts education, to retain and attract quality teachers and support staff, and to provide local reliable funding for local schools that cannot be taken by the State, with no proceeds used for administrators salaries, benefits and pensions, the El Rancho Unified School District (“District”) proposes a school parcel tax for a period of nine years, starting on July 1, 2017, at a rate of $99 per parcel per year, with an exemption available for senior citizens and certain disabled persons, and to implement accountability measures, including citizen oversight, to ensure the funds are used to help:

   Ensure every student has access to quality arts education (including performing arts such as music, theatre and dance, and visual arts such as painting and drawing), such that at least 50% of annual parcel tax collections shall be allocated to expenditures on arts education, including but not limited to those set forth below;

   Provide for the following minimum expenditures for arts education in the first fiscal year in which the District expends parcel tax proceeds:

   Hiring music teachers at the elementary level to ensure all students receive 45 minutes of weekly music instruction throughout the school year,

   Hiring music teacher(s) at the middle school level to ensure all students have access to instrumental music programs,

   Providing annual workshops with community based musicians for all middle and high school music students,

   Funding annual music field trips, competitions, and/or public performances,

   Purchasing and maintaining instruments and equipment,

   Investing in instruments and equipment to support the expansion of music programming,

   Provide that the teachers hired, the equipment purchased, and programs funded from the first year of arts education spending noted above, be supported over the duration of this parcel tax;

   Provide that revenue not spent on the items above may be used to increase the quality, quantity and equitable distribution of arts education in the District in accordance with a Board approved strategic plan for arts education;


-         Raise teacher and support staff salaries in order to attract and retain highly qualified teachers and support staff;

   Provide high quality instruction in math, science, technology and the arts; and

   Protect the taxpayers investment in quality education and ensure District accountability by providing for taxpayer oversight and financial audits of revenues and expenditures.

Pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.1, the proceeds of the school parcel tax shall only be applied for the purposes stated above. The proceeds of the parcel tax shall be deposited into a separate account created by the District.

Should the amount of District appropriation for arts education from other funds be reduced in any fiscal year below 2015-16 levels, the annual allocation from the parcel tax funds shall be adjusted to replace the difference, up to 100% of the parcel tax revenues in that fiscal year.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL ANY OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE SCHOOL PARCEL TAX BE USED FOR ADMINISTRATORS’ SALARIES, BENEFITS OR PENSIONS.

DEFINITION OF “PARCEL”

For purposes of the parcel tax, the term “Parcel” means any parcel of land which lies wholly or partially within the boundaries of the El Rancho Unified School District that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Los Angeles County Assessor. All property that is otherwise exempt from or upon which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the parcel tax in such year.

For purposes of this parcel tax, any such “Parcels” which are (i) contiguous, and

(ii)   used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes, and

(iii)   held under identical ownership may, by submitting to the District an application of the owners thereof by June 15 of any year, be treated as a single parcel for purposes of the levy of the school parcel tax.

EXEMPTION FOR SENIORS AND SSI RECIPIENTS

Pursuant to California Government Code Section 50079(b)(1), any owner of a Parcel used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes and who are either (a) 65 years of age or older on or before June 30 of the fiscal year immediately preceding the year in which the tax would apply, or (b) persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, or

(c) receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250 percent of the 2012 federal

 


poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, may obtain an exemption from the parcel tax by submitting an application therefore, by June 15 of any year, to the District.

The District may establish administrative procedures to periodically verify the continuance of any previously granted exemption.

With respect to all general property tax matters within its jurisdiction, the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector or other appropriate county tax officials, shall make all final determinations of tax exemption or relief for any reason, and that decision shall be final and binding. With respect to matters specific to the levy of the school parcel tax, including any exemptions and the classification of property for purposes of calculating the tax, the decisions of the District shall be final and binding.

REDUCTION IN TAX IF RESULT IS LESS OTHER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

The collection of the parcel tax is not intended to decrease or offset any increase in local, state or federal government revenue sources that would otherwise be available to the District during the period of the parcel tax. In the event that the levy and collection does have such an effect, the District may cease the levy or shall reduce the parcel tax to the extent that such action would restore the amount of the decrease or offset in other revenues that would otherwise occur.

ACCOUNTABILITY  MEASURES

In accordance with the requirements of California Government Code Sections

50075.1 and 50075.3, the following accountability measures, among others, shall apply to the parcel tax levied in accordance with this Measure: (a) the specific purposes of the parcel tax shall be those purposes identified above; (b) the proceeds of the parcel tax shall be applied only to those specific purposes identified above; (c) a separate, special account shall be created into which the proceeds of the parcel tax must be deposited; and (d) an annual written report shall be made to the Governing Board of the District showing (i) the amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the school parcel tax and (ii) the status of any projects or programs required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the parcel tax, as identified above.

In addition to the accountability measures required by law, the following shall apply to the Measure:

The District will establish a Parcel Tax Oversight Committee to review the expenditure of parcel tax revenues. An expenditure plan (the “Annual Plan”) shall be developed annually for each fiscal year by the District staff in consultation with the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, which plan will


make recommendations regarding the expenditures of parcel tax proceeds that are consistent with the intent of this Measure, provided, however, that such Annual Plan shall provide that at least 50% of parcel tax collections shall be allocated to expenditures on arts education. The Annual Plan shall be presented to the Board and recommended for approval thereby in each fiscal year in conjunction with the Districts annual budget adoption process.

 

Each fiscal year, an independent auditor retained by the District shall conduct an audit of the expenditure of parcel tax revenues in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The audit shall include (1) the amount of parcel tax revenues collected and expended in such year; (2) the description of all programs funded, and a determination as to whether the monies expended were for the allowable uses stated in this Measure; and (3) a determination as to whether parcel tax revenues are being used to supplement, and not supplant, District general fund revenues appropriated for arts education in such fiscal year.

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