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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Special District

Soquel Union Elementary School District
Measure B - 2/3 Approval Required

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Election Results

Failing

8,729 votes yes (66.26%)

4,445 votes no (33.74%)

Parcel Tax
— undefined

To support academic excellence, retain and recruit quality teachers and support staff, offer student enrichment in the arts focusing on music, enhance science with hands-on lessons in school gardens, and provide local funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall Soquel Union Elementary School District's measure be adopted authorizing the levy of a parcel tax for six years at a rate of $96 per year raising approximately $990,000 with an exemption for seniors and with annual citizens' oversight?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Dana McRae, County Counsel

If this measure is approved by at least two-thirds of those voting on it, the Soquel Union Elementary School District (the “School District”) will be authorized to levy a special tax on real property.  The tax would be imposed for six years beginning July 1, 2019, at the rate of $96.00 per year on each parcel within the School District.

The proceeds of the special tax, if approved, may be applied only to the purposes stated in the full text of the ballot proposition and ballot question and not for any other purpose.

In accordance with State law, the School District would carry out accountability measures.  It would create a special account into which the proceeds of the special tax shall be deposited.  An annual report would show the amount of the special taxes which have been collected and expended, and the status of projects to be funded from those proceeds.

A citizens’ oversight committee is to provide oversight concerning expenditure of the tax revenues.     

The special parcel tax is to be collected in the same manner, and subject to the same interest and penalties, as those property taxes which are based upon property value.      

Property owners who are 65 years of age or older may obtain an exemption if the property is used solely for owner-occupied, single family residential purposes, by applying prior to June 30 of any year to the School District.              

This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Trustees of the Soquel Union Elementary School District.        

A “yes” vote on Measure B is a vote to approve imposition of the special parcel tax.         

A “no” vote on Measure B is a vote against imposition of the special parcel tax.                                                               

 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Our schools are the most important assets in our community and should be our number one priority.  From higher achieving students, to increased property values, quality schools make a difference. We need to protect the quality of education. Funds raised by this local measure will support instructional opportunities including music, art, and hands-on science through gardening programs, and retain and recruit high-quality teachers and support staff.

Our children need your YES vote on Measure B! If successful, Measure B will provide a stable source of local funds to offset the uncertainty of state funding. With the kind of support provided by the funds from Measure B, our students can become well-rounded, contributing members of the community. Without it, their educational experience will be compromised.

If passed, Measure B will fund programs to improve Soquel Union Elementary School District schools including:

  • Attracting and retaining quality teachers and support staff
  • Maintaining or expanding music and art programs
  • Enhancing science instruction via hands-on gardening lessons

Measure B makes financial sense and protects taxpayers.

  • All funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State.
  • Measure B provides for an exemption for any parcel owned and occupied by a person 65 years of age or older.
  • Spending will be reviewed and annually audited by an independent citizens' oversight committee

Measure B maintains academic programs, helps improve the education of local children, and enhances the quality of our community. That's something we can all support. Please join us and vote Yes on Measure B!

Rose Filicetti
County School Board Member & Capitola Senior

Michael Watkins
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools

Angelo DeBernardo, Jr
Community Banker

Dwight Lowery
Athlete/Coach

Zach Friend
Santa Cruz County Supervisor

 

Arguments AGAINST

No Argument Against Measure B was filed.

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

INTRODUCTION

“To support academic excellence, retain and recruit quality teachers and support staff, offer student enrichment in the arts focusing on music, enhance science with hands-on lessons in school gardens, and provide local funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall Soquel Union Elementary School District’s measure be adopted authorizing the levy of a parcel tax for six years at a rate of $96 per year raising approximately $990,000 with an exemption for seniors and with annual citizens’ oversight?”

PURPOSES

To provide local revenue that cannot be taken by the State and to maintain high-quality public education in schools in the Soquel Union Elementary School District (the “District”), the District proposes to levy and collect an education parcel tax annually for six years as more fully described below under “EDUCATION PARCEL TAX AND PROCEDURES,” and to implement accountability measures in connection with the education parcel tax to ensure that funds are used only for the following specific purposes:

  • Retain & recruit quality teachers and support staff;
  • Student enrichment programs;
  • Instruction in the arts focusing on music;
  • Hands-on science in life labs (school gardens).

The Board of Trustees will not fund any program other than those listed above from the proceeds of the education parcel tax.

EDUCATION PARCEL TAX AND PROCEDURES

Amount of Education Parcel Tax.  Subject to two-thirds approval of the voters, the education parcel tax of $96 per parcel (except exempt parcels, as described below) shall become effective for six years commencing with fiscal year 2019-20 and be collected by the Santa Cruz County Tax Collector at the same time as and along with, and shall be subject to the same penalties as general ad valorem taxes collected by said tax collector. 

Definition of Parcel.  A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Santa Cruz County Tax Collector. 

Exemptions.  The following exemptions shall apply to the levy of the qualified special tax.

  • Otherwise Exempt Property.  All property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes shall also be exempt from the education parcel tax.
  • Senior Citizen Exemption.  An exemption shall be available to persons who are 65 years or older and own and occupy as a principal residence a parcel (as defined above) and apply to the District for such exemption under procedures established by the District or otherwise as required by law or by the Santa Cruz County Tax Collector.

 Property owners seeking the senior citizen exemption must apply to the District for such exemption under procedures established by the District or otherwise as required by law or by the Santa Cruz County Tax Collector.  When a senior exemption has been granted to a parcel, the senior will not have to re-submit an exemption application annually if the facts are such that said parcel continues to qualify for the senior exemption described in this measure.

Exclusive Procedures. The procedures described herein with respect to the levy and collection of the education parcel tax and exemptions, and any additional procedures established by the Board of Trustees of the District, shall be the exclusive claims procedure for claimants seeking an exemption, refund, reduction, or re-computation of the qualified special tax. Whether any particular claim is to be resolved by the District or by the County shall be determined by the District, in coordination with the County as necessary.  The District’s Board of Trustees may adopt such additional or supplemental procedures as it deems necessary or convenient for the administration of the education parcel tax.

ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES

Government Code Accountability.  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 qualified special taxes levied in accordance with this Measure:

  • the specific purposes of the education parcel tax shall be those purposes identified above under the heading “PURPOSES,”
  • the proceeds of the education parcel tax shall be applied only to those specific purposes identified above under the heading “PURPOSES,”
  • a separate, special account shall be created into which the proceeds of the education parcel tax must be deposited; and
  • the District shall annually prepare and file or cause to be prepared and filed a written report with the Board of Trustees of the District showing (1) the amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the education parcel tax and (2) the status of any projects, programs, or purposes identified above under the heading “PURPOSES.”

Citizens’ Oversight Committee.  In addition to the accountability measures required by the Government Code, an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees to advise the Board on the expenditures funded by the measure in order to ensure that said funds are spent for the purposes approved by the voters.  The Citizens’ Oversight Committee will review the expenditures of these funds by the District and will report on an annual basis to the Board and community on how these funds have been spent.

PROTECTION OF FUNDING

Current law forbids any decrease in State or Federal funding to the District because of the District’s adoption of an education parcel tax. However, if any State or Federal funds are reduced because of the adoption of this education parcel tax, then the amount of the education parcel tax will be reduced annually as necessary in order to restore such State or Federal funding.

SEVERABILITY

The Board of Trustees of the District hereby declares, and the voters by approving this measure concur, that every section, paragraph, sentence and clause of this measure has independent value, and the Board of Trustees and the voters would have adopted each provision hereof regardless of every other provision hereof.  Upon approval of this measure by the voters, should any part be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.

 

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