The board voted last week to place a new $196 parcel tax on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election. In doing so, district and parcel tax campaign officials hope to sway the 82 percent of district voters who don't currently have children in any of the district's six schools.
Over the next six months, campaign officials will lay out their case for the $196 parcel tax, which needs two-thirds support to pass. The tax would be on top of the existing $731 per parcel tax. The parcel tax was first passed in 2004 and raised and extended via Measure A in November 2008. The new tax would begin in July 2013 and run through 2020. Seniors are exempt.
The campaign's largely focuses on a ballooning budget deficit caused by a confluence of factors, including booming enrollment and stagnant property taxes, which account for 56 percent of the district's revenue. The primary argument will focus on the need for more revenue that could not be taken back by the state. The district has been hit by a cumulative $3 million cut from state “take backs” from the $1.3 million the district gets to maintain a 20-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio from kindergarten through third grade.
The proposed tax would generate approximately $1.9 million annually for the district. That revenue would not be subject to state take backs.
Here’s the language that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot for the Mill Valley School District’s parcel tax measure:
“To replace significant cuts by the State in education funding; protect the quality of local elementary and middle schools and attract and keep highly qualified core academic teachers; shall the Mill Valley School District be authorized to implement a parcel tax of one hundred ninety-six dollars for eight years, requiring annual audit and accountability measures, and with all revenues kept local and used exclusively for Mill Valley elementary and middle schools?”