News


Las Lomitas district to explore parcel tax increase

 

The governing board of the Las Lomitas Elementary School District agreed unanimously to hire a pollster to test voter opinion on a possible increase in the $311 in parcel taxes that property owners pay annually to the district.

The board agreed to spend about $20,000 to engage pollster Brad Senden of the San Rafael-based Center for Community Opinion, according to a staff report.

The residential survey should happen some time in November or early December, Superintendent Eric Hartwig told The Almanac.

"We, like other districts, are really struggling to make ends meet and we really have to consider this seriously," Mr. Hartwig said. The survey is the institutional equivalent of licking one's finger and sticking it into the wind, he added.

If the survey shows support for a tax increase, an election would probably happen in the spring, he said. Any tax measure would need the approval of a two-thirds majority of voters.

The Las Lomitas district, which encompasses parts of Menlo Park and Atherton, consists of some 4,000 parcels; about 3,400 of them pay the tax and provide the district with about $1 million per year. Senior property owners can claim an exemption, and some 600 property owners do, Mr. Hartwig said.

The last time the district asked voters to raise the parcel tax was in March 2007, when a 75 percent majority approved an increase of $115.

Comments

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm

"Mr. Hartwig said. The survey is the institutional equivalent of licking one's finger and sticking it into the wind, he added."

Amazing, they pay $20,000 of the tax payers money for someone to "lick their fingers and stick it into the wind" in order to decide if they should spend even more money for an election so that they will have even more money to spend.


Like this comment
Posted by Maria
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Peter, must you comment on everything? I am tired of it. It is free speach, but perhaps people would listen more if you wrote everywhere less!


Like this comment
Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 30, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I totally agree with Peter. I think the schools just very recently were given a bunch more money to avoid teacher layoffs, right? So now we have this as well. I say, no more taxes period. I will answer my phone for this pollster and say that to them. Las Lomitas recently completed a major construction project of a new gym, and some other buildings that I thought were very questionable. Enough!


Like this comment
Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Why spend $20,000 when you already know your answer?
Take some responsibilty- How much has Menlo spent on studies which just resulted in more studies and nothing ever gets done- except the consultants get paid.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Maria asks:"Peter, must you comment on everything? "

The Town Forum is meant to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion.

The Almanac serves a population of over 50,000 and yet there are fewer than ten serious posters on this site - I would suggest that the problem is not that I post too much but that others post far too little in the way of substantive and thoughtful comments.

Along with free speech is the right to ignore what others say - I assure you that I will never know if you elect not to read what I post. But I would welcome your thoughtful comments.


Like this comment
Posted by Thanks Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

So, Pete, you think they should waste the LARGER amount of money to go for the parcel tax only to lose? Is that how businesses work?

As for "we already paid more"... this is a tax of LAS LOMITAS folks, if you aren't one of those, you aren't included in this tax, and if we recall Menlo Park School District did get their parcel tax, so they upped the ante.

As for the buildings and that funding, learn how the school budgets work before you scream and yell here, that's a separate "pie" altogether. Health care expenses have gone up. Energy has gone up. Your parcel tax has not gone up in a while.

[Portion removed; please stick to the issues and refrain from attacking other posters]


Like this comment
Posted by I agree!
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I agree with "Thanks Pete", everything has gone up. On top of that, the main reason the appreciation of your home has either stayed the same, gone up a bit, or has only dropped a bit, is because of the schools in Menlo and Atherton. It is NOT because of our downtown, our city services, our fire department or anything else. I invest my time, energy and dollars toward our schools, because I know I'm getting my money's worth, increase in my home value. Now of course, if you own a home here, and want to scream and yell at the schools for their construction, or their very small parcel tax increases, go ahead, I hear it all of the time, the beauty of it all is that it is all in vain. Menlo passed their parcel tax @ 76%, definitely a mandate!




Like this comment
Posted by An Old Geezer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 22, 2010 at 7:13 am

I like this quote, it says it all:

"The survey is the institutional equivalent of licking one's finger and sticking it into the wind".

I bet the tax payers must feel like the "wind".

Leave Peter alone, the guy is just saying it as it is, you people are all defensive to a system that is broken without fiscal responsibilty. Survival of the wettest fingers. More money will solve everything...CA did not get any of that federal grant funds...I guess even the spending monster in DC even sees that sticky wet fingers won't solve the problems for the kids.


Like this comment
Posted by Old geezer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 22, 2010 at 7:22 am

They do a study for everything because they don't want to be the "bad" guy. Besides, I am sure there is some legal reason since they are order takers without courage to do the right things and only focused on how much they can squeeze out of us tax payers.

It's like a fortune 100 company, the executives hire their buddy "consultants" and they party over the "results" after they give themselves the raises or whatever is on their agendas.


"Why spend $20,000 when you already know your answer?


Take some responsibilty- How much has Menlo spent on studies which just resulted in more studies and nothing ever gets done- except the consultants get paid."

Replace typo "consultants" with "buddies", don't you people get it...it's a buddy system.


Like this comment
Posted by Holly
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:11 am

For you folks who want a parcel tax increase to increase your property values, a piece of advice.

You're better off remodeling or putting in nicer landscaping to your homes.

If you want to really contribute, they have a foundation that welcomes checks from you and anyone.


Like this comment
Posted by Bart S.
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Is this the best CA public schools have to offer? That's pretty low standards esp. with the amount of taxes paid, well unless you're renting or living at grandmas or a shack. Have fun trying to pump up your property values when you sell. The market will speak.


Like this comment
Posted by Yamaha
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Parcel taxes is like HOA dues, spread it amoung everyone. Well except the seniors and old money who benefit from prop 13.

Pinching those people who paid "top" dollars for "good" schools for their cracker jack postage stamp properties.

Vote for the parcel tax and than call your neighborhood assessor to complain about your assessments to get your taxes down.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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