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Community college district won't renew parcel tax

The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District voted unanimously Wednesday night not to renew the district's $34 annual parcel tax, which expires in June.

Voters approved the tax four years ago when the community colleges, including Canada College in Woodside, were facing a fiscal crisis brought on by years of state budget reductions, district officials said.

In addition, there was unprecedented demand for classes due to the recession and widespread unemployment, said board President Karen Schwarz. At one point, she noted, there were more than 13,000 students on wait lists for classes.

"The parcel tax -- the first ever for a community college district in California -- allowed our colleges to offer hundreds of classes to tens of thousands of students who otherwise wouldn't have been served," Ms. Schwarz said.

Since then, she said, the district's fiscal situation has "stabilized and improved," owing to a stronger economy.

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