Portola Valley schools parcel tax passes
Original post made on May 8, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 8:47 PM
on May 8, 2013 at 9:00 am
It's almost mind boggling to me that 2/3 of the residents of Portola Valley do not believe in accountability. I am so sick of the the additional parcel taxes for school related expenses. The fact that PV Schools spends twice the state average per student is disturbing. And the fact that the Las Lomitas School District spends $5,000 less per student and gets slightly better state test results is amazing. What are we thinking? Is the administration just that bad? Is it the teachers? I think there are quite a few residents and possibly school officials who just don't want to admit that money is not the quite the whole problem in the PV school district -- it's the parents. Public education is never going to be the same quality level of private education, and you can keep throwing money at the problem -- not your own individual money, but all of our money, by forcing more taxes down our throats; however, you still end up with something slightly less. Throw in the lack of accountability, the fact that parents but into the school administration's business decisions and you have a powder keg of problems that have nothing to do with parcel taxes and everything to do with an overhaul of the politics of PV Parents and PV Schools.
on May 8, 2013 at 10:15 am
It seems inappropriate to allow some PV property owners -- many of whom are quite well-off and already pay a fraction of the property taxes paid by newer owners by virtue of Prop 13 -- to vote for this forced contribution by others, while preserving an "opt out" for themselves.
Assuming it is true that support for local schools (even if excessive) beneficially impacts property values, this creates a category of "free-riders."
Actually, it's more insidious: Those planning to "opt out" are incentivized to vote for an assessment which improves their own property values, knowing that they will benefit from something for which they do not have to pay.
-How many voted for this measure who plan to opt out?
-Would it have passed without these votes?
-To be consistent with the concept of equal protection (as well as basic fairness), shouldn't the measure be required to receive a 2/3 majority of those actually paying the tax?
-Are those opting out willing to have their names published? (Presumably fairly easily compiled from public records)
This would be a great topic for a follow-up article by the Almanac.
on May 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm
Sparty- while I hear your concerns about those voting for a tax who don't have to pay it, this is the tip of the iceberg of that phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of Californians who don't pay state income tax voted to raise mine; same story at the Federal level. Voting for tax increases you won't have to deal with is an unfortunate trend.