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Video: Measure B Supporters Rally on Street Corners Before the Election

Parents, students, and members of the Mill Valley School District held signs and waved to cars on Friday to encourage voters to pass a $196 parcel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Measure B supporters are taking to the streets as the Nov. 6 election, and efforts to pass a $196 parcel tax, grow closer.

"In all, I would estimate there were about 60 volunteers (parents and children) who showed up at some point during the 90 minute rallies in the five locations in Mill Valley," said campaign organizer Mari Allen.

There was a steady stream of honking as cars drove past the volunteers, who cheered and rang cowbells last Friday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Corner rallies are planned again on Oct. 26, Nov. 2 and Nov. 5.

The proposed tax, which requires two-thirds support from voters to be approved, comes on top of the existing $731 per parcel tax and aims to address the Mill Valley School District’s looming budget deficit.

A parcel tax, supporters say, will maintain the quality teachers and programs in the Mill Valley School District. Organizers according to the latest financial filing with the Marin County Registrar of Voters. The majority of the funds raised will pay for mailers that will target residents without children in one of the district’s six schools, as that group comprises a whopping 80 percent of voters within the district, according to a survey conducted earlier this year.

"State budget cuts have made it more essential than ever that the school district be able to fund our public K-8 schools locally," Allen said.

In addition to the rallies, campaign volunteers are walking door-to-door and making personal phone calls to voters, Allen said. They're also staffing phone banks Monday and Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Pacific Union Realtors and one evening at Alain Pinel. And they'll be in Depot Square every Saturday morning through Election Day to talk with residents.

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russellcraig October 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Please join me in voting NO on Measure B. There is seemingly no end to additional parcel taxes for Mill Valley Schools.
Ken Wachtel October 18, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Please join me in voting a definite YES on Measure B. Our schools and children are our most precious resource. They are our future and we owe it to them to support our local schools. For those who have or had school age children, just think what you would pay if you had to send them to private schools because of poorly funded public schools. For those of you who do not have school age children just think what our great schools do for your property values. The cost of Measure B pales in comparison to the very real benefits it provides to all of us in Mill Valley
Taxpayer October 18, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Unfortunately I will have to consider this: according to California's Franchise Tax Board, parcel tax payments are not deductible against federal and state income tax liabilities. My property taxes are 1/3 more than the base rate because of non-deductible add-ons like this. I'm being beggared by these - when will they end?
Ken Wachtel October 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I am not in a position to give you tax advice but I tend to disagree with your analysis of the Franchise Tax Board's position. On April 17, 2012 the Franchise Tax Board removed the comment from their website that would had led people to believe that only ad valorem (based on value of property) taxes were deductible. With the removal of that portion of the website the FTB stated that it was going to allow property tax payments for Mello Roos and school parcel taxes to remain deductible. This is consistent with a memorandum from the IRS chief counsel which stated, "Mello-Roos and other California assessments may be deductible as real property taxes, even though they are not imposed upon an 'ad valorem' basis." So I really do not think you are correct and that the Measure B parcel tax will continue to be deductible on state and federal tax returns. But even if it were not, it is a small price to pay for our wonderful schools.
Scott October 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM
When you use flowery cliches such as "Our children are our most precious resource. They are our future and we owe it to them to support our local schools." you are really insulting our intelligence as that assumes the only solution to this problem is to raise taxes. You're not alone as this seems to be an epidemic among California politicians. In a few weeks MV voters will be faced with a ballot that includes 2 state tax increase measures, a county tax increase measure and a MV schools tax increase measure. When asked what is causing all these budget problems, politicians respond with revenue (meaning tax) shortfalls but when the surfaced is scratched just a little bit more, we find it is personnel expenses, particularly benefit/retirement expenses. Last month the governor signed a pension reform bil that he even admits doesn't solve the problem but "will pave the way for more comprehensive reform in the future."* I think the people deserve a lot more out of their politicians before they ask for more of our hard earned money. Have you looked at the schools budget? I have. It's more of the same. In fact, it's worse, from 2012 to 2013: Total expenditures are projected to go DOWN 3.0% to $30.2M Total salaries are expected to RISE 2.2% (from 61.6% of total to 65.0%), Benefits RISE a WHOPPING 6.3% (from 19.9% of total to 21.8%). Seems to me the problem could be fixed by ACTUALLY fixing the pension problem rather than taxing us more.
Magoo October 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM
My opinion is that assessments based on a percentage of assessed value is deductible as a tax, but other items are not. Therefore, the tax on school bonds qualify, but not parcel taxes. It would make little difference to many people around here as a large percentage are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax where are taxes re NOT deductible.. San Francisco is outpaced Marin as to increasing property values and look ar SF public schools. I also take issue as to value of real estate being tied so significantly to good schools
Ken Wachtel October 19, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Citizen Except for the fact that both the FTB and IRS say that non ad valorem parcel taxes ARE deductible on both state and federal taxes.
Taxpayer October 19, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Also, is this $196 per parcel, or only per parcel with a structure on it? Because of the vagaries of the way our block's property is divided, I have 3 parcels, two of which are just slivers and no larger than a parking lot. This will be a serious financial blow if it's per parcel.
Scott October 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM
So, other than to entice them to vote for the tax, why are seniors exempted? Do their property values not also appreciate along with other households?
Citizen October 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
There are thousands and thousands of parcels subject to the parcel tax in which the owners of the parcels do not get a vote. Taxation without representations. What kind of democracy is that.
Rico October 20, 2012 at 02:12 AM
A parcel can contain many lots. The parcel that I own is 3 lots, but my neighbor's is 13 lots. As for the reason that some people (mainly politicians) claim that the schools need more money is not because of salaries or retirement pensions. It is because the politicians insist on wasting money on train projects (both SMART and the SSR), water diversion projects to SoCal to give water to farmers who in turn turn fields fallow and sell the water rights to developers who build condos in the desert, and especially bad-giving our tax money to create private healthcare "insurance exchanges" to promote out of state insurance corporations set up shop and sell useless insurance policies and divert the profits out of state. If the corporately controlled politicians would cut out these wasteful programs, then there would be adequate funding for education and medical care for Californians. That is why I already voted NO on all tax increase proposals, including "B", I don't care how much these promoters say it will cost, VOTE NO on ALL TAX INCREASES.
Scott October 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Tax deductibility is a meaningless distraction the council-member was so willing to weigh in on. I wonder why he's been so quiet as people start focusing on the real issue being the spending problem. I'm not saying "no" to the tax increase, but I'd like to understand why benefit increases in the budget are more than double the salary increases especially given overall expenses are going down. To me, it seems the teachers are sacrificing everything but their own pay and benefits. How do the kids benefit from this? Ken?
Mill Valley mom October 30, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I am going to vote NO. I feel guilty that the people have already contribute the second most of any school district in the county. If we want our kids to get a private school type education, then it is up to us parents to pay up.

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