Yolo County Taxpayers Association Opposes Measure H

Parcel-Tax-Chalk

(From Press Release) –  The Yolo County Taxpayers’ Association at its September meeting voted unanimously to oppose Measure H in Davis.  “Asking only Davis residents that own property to commit to pay $4,960 at $620 per year for eight years in new parcel taxes is unreasonable.  Those who have voted for these parcel taxes in the past need to realize that voting YES on Measure H is a new expensive tax; it is a self-inflicting  debt of $4,960 dollars.” said John Hoover, President of the Yolo County Taxpayers’ Association.

“All of us are supportive of schools and we do that through our income taxes, property taxes and the newly approved California Proposition 30.  The state shortfalls are over.  There is no justification for additional parcel taxes which are paid only by some of the city.  People need to realize not only how much they pay a year but how much money they will pay in total.  Voters need to understand clearly that a YES vote means homeowners will pay a minimum of $4,960 over eight years.  The parcel taxes of Measure H are like a variable interest loan. If you vote YES you are acquiring a debt of $4,960 to be paid at $620 per year plus a variable amount each year for cost of living increases for the next eight years.  This is too much for too long and hurts taxpayers” continued Hoover.

It is unfair because these parcel taxes are imposed only on those who own homes – they foot the bill for everybody else. Measure H exempts out of town residents, temporary residents who send their students to Davis schools but do not pay any parcel taxes.  It exempts seniors who do not have to pay but they can vote and make the rest pay these parcel taxes.  This amounts to “representation without taxation”, it is unethical and yet it is a provision of Measure H. The same is true for those who do not own property but vote YES — they free themselves from paying but use the power of the vote  to make someone else  pay.

“The Yolo County Taxpayers’ Association joins the campaign of NO on H and stands behind the principles of fair taxation, support for schools but not abuse of the taxpayers and unethical tactics.” said John Hoover, President of the Yolo County Taxpayers’ Association.

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37 thoughts on “Yolo County Taxpayers Association Opposes Measure H”

  1. Tia Will

    I would believe the Taxpayers Associations claims that they “are supportive of our schools” if and when they present a means other than Measure H for providing this same amount of funding for our schools. Propose a competing measure that provides the same funding that meets your criteria for “fair” taxation or revenue generation, and I will be willing to revise my opinion. Otherwise, this is nothing more than a “do more with less” argument that casts doubt on the sincerity of the “we support our schools” claim.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          I found the first part of John Munn’s article, the factual part, to be well written and informative. Once he began  the “opinion” portion, I found it far less than compelling . I am glad that he clearly differentiated the two portions. Needless to say that I disagree with him on a number of counts some of which have already been debunked by others here as in the suggestion that the funds are going to teacher/administrator salaries. But most importantly, what he did not do is to indicate what he would prefer to see as a measure to provide the needed funding. Until this is part of the discussion, and a better alternative is suggested, I will remain a strong advocate for Measure H.

  2. Greg Brucker

    I would like to add that this group calls themselves “non partisan” but when I spoke to them at the Yolo County Fair, they were all wearing Republican Candidates’ shirts.

     

  3. Sam

     
    Measure H is going to save a lot of DTA jobs. In 2009 when the District was facing funding cuts from the State the District administrators took a pay cut to help close the budget gap. Classified employees took a pay cut to help close the budget gap. The District then asked the DTA to take a 2.5% pay cut to minimize the number of layoff notices they would have to give to the teachers. The DTA refused to take a pay cut. Instead the community donated to the Davis Schools Foundation and approved parcel taxes to fund DTA jobs.
     
    In 2010 the DTA again refused to take a pay cut in order to minimize their members being laid off. Instead they chose to shorten the school year by one week saving the district 2.7% of their salaries. Then in 2012, days after Davis voters approved a $320 per year parcel tax the DTA started pushing the district to give all DTA members a “bonus” equal to the 2.7% in pay that their members “gave up” by teaching for five days during the school year.
     
    Maybe the Yolo County Taxpayers Association would have liked to see the DTA make some sacrifices this time before asking Davis homeowners for $5,000 each. Maybe they are worried that after measure H passes the DTA will again ask the district for another bonus. Maybe they think that $5,000 would buy a lot of private music lessons or science tutoring. I don’t know I’m not a member.
     

    1. Chamber Fan

      “Maybe the Yolo County Taxpayers Association would have liked to see the DTA make some sacrifices this time before asking Davis homeowners for $5,000 each.”

      Where are you getting $5000 from?  Why is DTA required to make sacrifices?

    2. Napoleon Pig IV

      The DTA endorsement of Lovenburg causes me to rethink my tentative support of the parcel tax. There are a lot of competent teachers in DJUSD, but I don’t see much connection between that fact and the lack of judgement shown by DTA with respect to this particularly unimpressive school board member. This, of course, raises concern that our money will simply be wasted if we support Measure H.

      1. Yes_on_H

        Once the school board approves a school parcel tax for the ballot, they don’t have much say in it once it passes.  The funds go for designated programs as described in the full description of the measure.  An oversight committee reviews those expenditures and provides reports that are available to the public.

        1. Napoleon Pig IV

          I just looked at a few of those reports, and I agree that the oversight committee seems to do a good job. The summary data they provide supports your statement that the school board doesn’t have much say once a parcel measure passes.

          Despite my complete disgust with Lovenburg and her fellow travelers on the board, I have high respect for the quality of some of the programs supported by the parcel tax. So, as I’ve been inclined to do all along, but with a pocket full of posies close by to partially mask the stench just upwind, I’ll vote in favor of measure H.

  4. SODA

    Can someone remind the readers how the $620 x8 yrs came to be? What does it replace, ?$620 and how long was the previous parcel tax in effect? And does it go for exactly the same services the previous tax went for?  Thanks in advance.

      1. SODA

        Thank you for that link. So Measure H replaces sun setting measures C and E at essentially their combined $ but for 8 years instead of the more traditional 4. Is that accurate?

        I understand from the DV forum that there is an oversight committee for one or both of these old measures. Will that be continued and could someone more informed than I give a summary of their work, especially if they have ever questioned District Uses for the monies. There was brief statement to the fact they have never questioned. Thanks.

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        One thing we know is much of Measure H is to make permanent a tax that we were told was only going to be temporary.”

        Yes, and we also know that there was a major change in state funding in the interim. Are we to believe that we should never change our minds about what was initially agreed upon based on changing circumstances ?

         

  5. quielo

    The unknown for me is how many of the current 8,599 students are IDTs. Assuming that 1,000 of these are IDTS this represents ~$1250 per local student. All the IDTs are getting a free ride as are the opt outs.

    1. Tia Will

      quielo

      All the IDTs are getting a free ride as are the opt outs.”

      And the flip side to this question is, “are we willing to further disadvantage “our” children in order to make sure that other children do not get “a free ride” ?

      1. quielo

        Tia,

         

        I don’t think that rejecting the parcel tax is the only solution. If we want to go with the parcel tax then I believe the just solution would be to defer the tax until the house is sold for those that would qualify for exemptions. I have no idea whether that is possible though.

        I would like to take a hard look at the IDTs. I understand that UCD is specifically telling prospective employees to live in Woodland and IDT their children to Davis.

  6. ryankelly

    I agree that the way the tax is set up seems unfair with some people required to pay and others not, temporary taxes never expiring, etc.  but the Taxpayer group makes no suggestion on a better model.

        1. quielo

          I would guess that would depend if they were East, West, or North. Alternately they could apply for annexation. For the Binning Tract and El Macero that might make the most sense. UCD may also want to start it’s own school district.

          1. Don Shor

            “apply for annexation.” “start it’s own school district.”
            What does this mean? This is not making any sense. What’s your point?

  7. Sam

    Here is the DTA Executive Board with their hand out asking for more money right after they received a raise and a bonus in 2014.

    http://www.davisvanguard.org/2014/04/a-stop-loss-not-a-raise/

    Their rational is basically the District had some extra money and they deserve to be given it. Now today the District needs money and the DTA is more than willing to contribute by endorsing another parcel tax for homeowners to pay.

    What do you think is going to happen if the district receives additional funding from the State in a year or two and no longer needs all of the parcel tax revenue? Do you think the district is going to refund a portion of the parcel tax or is the DTA going to stick their hand out again and demand the money be given to them?

    1. wdf1

      At what point can teachers ever get a raise in your world?  When I look at teachers’ salaries, I think they’re too low for me to take an interest in it.  I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay my mortgage and living expenses — and I don’t think I live in any kind of lavish place.  But I think I would make a reasonably good teacher.  What Davis teachers make is roughly in the range of what other teachers in the region make, but definitely not the highest that are available.  The raises that Davis teachers have been given are probably just enough to keep them ahead of being at the lowest end of the spectrum.

      1. Sam

         
        I don’t have an issue with the raise in particular. My complaint is with the DTA Executive Board’s greedy attitude and poor treatment of the Davis residents that have supported them financially over the last eight years. Look at the article from 2014 that I linked. The DTA Executive Board could have showed appreciation for the homeowners and community members creating enough extra funds for the raise and bonus. Or they could have just taken the raise and bonus and been happy. Instead they send out a press release complaining that what they received was not really a raise and publically asked the district for more money. A greedy slap in the face to all of the people who have contributed several million dollars extra to pay their wages over the last eight years.
         

  8. Yes_on_H

    Yolo County Taxpayers Association (YCTA) may represent some broader views of the county, but it is questionable if they represent the views of Davis voters when it comes to K-12 education.  The recent track record of Davis voters, supported by limited polling, indicates that Davis wants the additional resources (revenue) for  our public schools in order to support local educational priorities.  At present, a school parcel taxes is the only viable mechanism to make that happen.

  9. Aspen

    Last year the school tax assessed on my parcel was $320 for Davis Joint Unified CFD#2, plus $103 for Davis Joint Unified CFD #1.  These two CFDs, $423 last year, expire in June 2017.  They represent 2012 Measure C (4 years at $320 a parcel), and 2012 Measure E (4 years at a rate not to exceed $204 per parcel).

    This new measure H proposes a rate of $620 per year, plus inflation.  This is a 50% increase from the parcel tax assessed last year.

    How did they come up with this proposed rate?  Prior to meeting in June, the DJUSD School Board conducted polling of residents to determine the maximum amount residents were willing to pay, and determined that $620 was the highest figure that was likely to be approved by voters.

    I agree we need a parcel tax, and I agree that education is important.  As such, I would vote to extend the current rates, based on need, at a rate “not to exceed” $525,  plus inflation adjustments.

    Measure H requires $620.  And Measure H does not appear to bear a relationship to a specified need.  Voting NO on measure H does not eliminate school parcel taxes in the future.  The current school parcel taxes expires in June 2017.  If measure H is defeated, the DJUSD Board will meet again, propose a lower rate, and put it up at the next soonest local election.

    Thus, I would vote NO on H, and I would ask the DJUSD School Board to extend the current rate, based on need, at a rate “not to exceed” $525, plus inflation adjustments.

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