The faces a projected budget shortfall of $1.7 million in 2011-2012, $2.8 million in 2012-2013 that goes up from there. District officials have said they need to explore every option, including significant cutbacks, to make up that gap. For the .
But a major part of the plan for getting the district out of financial predicament will fall on the largess of its affluent population. That means going back to voters and asking for a renewal and increase on the parcel tax, which was passed in 2004 and raised and extended via Measure A in November 2008.
The district expects to receive $6.9 million from its parcel tax in 2010-2011. The current tax is $696 per parcel and is slated to grow by 5 percent each year until 2017-2018. It is currently the second highest in all of Marin County to Kentfield at $812 per parcel.
Establishing how much to ask for is too much is the big question, district trustee Steve Sell said. Parcel taxes need two-thirds approval to pass. The district would yield approximately $1 million for every $100 it adds per parcel to the tax, he estimated.
There’s also the question of timing. Tamalpais Union High School District is seeking to in November. In March 2012, the Mill Valley district’s tax would likely be the only item on a mail-in ballot and give the district a chance to seek the tax again in June or November if it fails. A November 2012 measure would ensure a higher turnout because of the presidential election but wouldn’t provide the district with revenue it could use until 2013-2014, Sell said.
“In terms of what we’re asking the community to do, this would be a pretty big step up,” Sell said. “Our community likes a multi-part plan in which everybody is participating in it, so that’s what we have to come up with.”
The district intends to work with political consultants Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter and Partners polling and messaging for its parcel tax plans.