Monday: Menlo Park City School District board to vote on parcel tax measures


The governing board of the Menlo Park City School District meets tonight, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. in the district office TERC room, 181 Encinal Ave. in Atherton, to decide if it will put two parcel tax measures on the ballot for a special May election.

The board is considering asking voters to approve two separate parcel tax measures. One tax would be at the exact rate of the expiring tax and another would be tied directly to changes in student enrollment.

If the board approves what was presented Jan. 21, both measures would propose permanent taxes, with no expiration dates.

Property owners in the district now pay four separate parcel taxes – three that are permanent and one that will expire at the end of June 2017. All four taxes can rise each year by the amount of any increase in the Bay Area consumer price index.

The total for all four parcel taxes, which appear as one on tax bills, is $851.60 for the 2015-16 tax year.

The parcel tax due to expire is currently $201.38 and provides about $1.58 million annually to the district; one of the two measures the board is considering is to make the expiring $201.38 tax permanent.

A second measure on the same ballot would propose a $2.20 per parcel tax for each student who enrolls beyond the district's current 2,938 students. If the student count in the district rose by 71 students, the increase predicted for next school year, the tax would be $156.20. The measure has a cap of 213 additional students, or $468.60, adjusted for inflation.

Because the second measure is totally dependent on enrollment, the parcel tax total could vary year to year. If the 7l student prediction is correct, and both measures are approved, the 2017-18 tax bill per parcel would be $961.60, adjusted by the amount of inflation this year.

The maximum parcel tax with both measures is $1,320.20 per parcel per year, adjusted for any inflation.

The board does not plan to choose one measure or the other, but wants to put both measures on the ballot for voter approval.

The proposal allows those 65 and older to apply for an exemption from the tax each year. The new tax could also increase annually with increases in the consumer price index.

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