New Schools’ Life Without Parcel Taxes

Granda-Jose-2by Jose J. Granda, PhD

GUEST COMMENTARY – It is important to put into perspective my opposition to Measure E because I sincerely believe it is an unfair new tax that allows several groups of people not to pay the taxes while receiving the same educational services.  This is not the American way where the equal protection clause considers all of us equal in all aspects of our lives. For that reason, the theme of my campaign “Excellence in Education with Sound Financial Responsibility”.

First a summary of my opposition and then what I see as the solution:

  • The Davis Unified School District budget (2011-2012) reveals that the District received $70,306,825 million dollars in revenue, ($9020.63/student) most of it from our State Income Taxes. The parcel taxes are only 3.2 million ($410/student). Their impact is minuscule compared with the $70.3 million which are responsible for Davis Schools’ excellence. Proponents of Measure E want you to believe that the parcel taxes are responsible for maintaining quality schools which is not the case. In reality it is the $70.3 million plus the support of well educated parents and teaches kid the value or doing well in school that are responsible, not the parcel taxes.
  • The School Board has placed four measures on the ballot in 18 months. Measure A (May 2011), Q, and W blended as Measure C (May 2012) and now they come to you with round four, Measure E. It is as if the School Board treats Davis taxpayers as an ATM machine where cash is readily available. Four trips to the ATM in 18 months? Fair to the taxpayers?
  • Some get to vote so that others pay. Measure E allows seniors regardless of income, not to pay these parcel taxes, but they get to vote to impose these taxes on you, the homeowner. Oh, yea, it is good for our grandchildren, but let someone else pay for their education. Is that fair?
  • Some do not pay the parcel taxes at all and do not live in Davis but get to send their kids to Davis Schools for free. 450 students from out of town families who do not pay these parcel taxes get a free ride. How fair is that to Davis residents? Measure E does nothing about this.
  • Others do not pay these taxes equally but they also get the same educational services. Regardless of income, those who live in apartments will pay ($20), but if you live in a home you will pay ($446). That is 22 times more. However, the education provided to children from parents who live in apartments is exactly the same as that for kids who live in a home.This group too, gets a free ride and gets to vote to impose the taxes on you the homeowner. Is that fair? Measure E does not consider income; it is based on where you live.
  • The School Board argues that out of town kids bring money to fill “empty seats”. That argument makes my point. They want the airplane full, thus they have intentionally overcrowded the classes. Yet they argue that these parcel taxes and Measure E in particular is for “reduced class sizes”. They cannot have it both ways.
  • The cost per student with the District revenues of $70.3 million and ADA (average daily attendance) of 7,794 kids is ($9020/student). The estate ADA is $5,210 per student. This demonstrates that Davis taxpayers are subsidizing $3,810 per each student from out of town that studies in Davis whose parents do not pay these parcel taxes. Where I the respect and fairness for Davis taxpayers?
  • MEASURE E is NOT a renewal of Measure A. Proponents attempt to sell you that way. It is an Unfair New More Expensive Tax. Measure A was a two year emergency measure at a cost to the taxpayers of 6.4 million over two years. MEASURE Ecosts taxpayers 12.8 million, double the cost of Measure A and it is for four years. How fair is that?
  • Money is wasted. There are FOUR Superintendents in Davis that together make $655,000 a year, the equivalent of 19 teachers at their entry level salary. Measure E does nothing to address this problem.

I am for extra funding of schools but not this way. I am an educator and education has been my business for 30 years.  In order to solve this unfairness and lack of respect for the taxpayers, there are several things we can do to help schools, some immediate, some long term.  I invite your readers to consider these ideas.

  • First, no one including me is opposing those who want to contribute voluntarily at the level or more than the parcel taxes. If Measure E does not pass, this does not prevent everyone to contribute on the same basis or more if they wish. The district should send the bill to everybody and those who like to support the schools the same way they were doing, they are welcome to do so. They do not need Measure E.
  • If Proposition 30 passes there will be 6.6 billion additional dollars for Schools paid by Davis Taxpayers and the rest in California, making Measure E unnecessary. Why the proponents need Measure E in addition to Proposition 30?
  • On this question, one of the other candidates has sidestepped the question by saying. “If Proposition 30 passes you only pay for the component of Measure E”. That is not the question. Given the fact Proposition 30 will produce “billions” of dollars in new funding for schools, the proponents of measure E have a toll order to explain why they need both, not just the new tax component of Measure E but why they need it at all in the light of billions of dollars in new funding for schools. I happen to support Measure 30 because through our income tax system where everyone pays, it is completely fair; it is the right way, not treating the taxpayers as an ATM machine, as the Davis School Board has done.
  • I propose to replace the parcel tax system with a new more robust and fair system for providing extra funding for schools. The formation of the “Davis School District Excellence in Education Foundation”, a central 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a master plan and a full time staff whose main purpose would be to seek funding from external sources such as grants, endowments, wills, and tax deductible donations.
  • In addition each schools to have its own 501(c) (3) Non-Profit organization. These individual foundations hosted at each school will have the same general objectives as the central one, (that is grants, endowments, wills, tax deductible donations) but their focus will be the needs of that schools, similar to what the PTA’s voluntarily do, but much more professional with direction, objective, financial goals and expending goals to supplement the needs of each school. While the school board will be responsible for a master plan this will give local neighborhoods and parents on those schools the control they need to take care of the needs of that school instead of waiting for a handout from the School Board. More directly funding each school and under the control of the parents and teachers you will see a real new change. You will see finally taking care of dilapidated facilities and priorities locally defined in each neighborhood school.
  • The combination of one central Non-Profit foundation plus 14 other separate foundations at with the “Birch Lane Excellence in Education Foundation, the Cesar Chavez Excellence in Education Foundation and so on … for all of these
  • Birch Lane Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Cesar Chavez Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Da Vinci Charter Academy Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Davis Senior High Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Emerson Junior High Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Farfield Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Harper Junior High Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Holmes Junior High Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Korematsu  Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Montgomery Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • North Davis Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Patwin Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Pioneer Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • Willet Elementary Excellence in Education Foundation
  • This method could produce millions of dollars more that the $3.2 in parcel taxes paid by a few for the benefit of others. There is going to be those out there who not knowing what this can do will question it. To those let me remind them that 80% of the professors make our living and supplement funding for our students with grants. Davis is a unique place because the talent to obtain these is in many parents who work for UC Davis, for CSUS and other institutions of learning and will be willing to assist the schools with their expertise to obtain new funding. The method produced 132 million for UC Davis this year and while I am not comparing the district to UC it is the concept that I want to get across.
  • There is little known about my expertise with Non-Profit organizations. I am President and CEO of AECALIFORNIA Inc., a 501(c) (3) organization whose purpose is to raise funds to support American doctors from UCD, Kaiser and other states who go to operate for FREE on children with facial deformities in Countries like Ecuador and Colombia. My wife and I have participated on this effort for sixteen years and what I can tell you is that it is not difficult at all to raise money and big money with a 501(c) (3) Non-Profit organization.
  • I am bringing up this idea to produce major funding for our schools. This idea however will work only if the attitude is there, the attitude and goal to make our schools a source of excellence with hard work and cooperation from everyone who claims to be for funding schools and that leadership has to come from the School Board instead of taking the easy and unfair way out of a trip to the ATM (Davis taxpayers).
  • The District has the unequivocal responsibility of providing the teachers for the education of our children and whether it is with the $70.3 million they receive in funding from our taxes of 5 or 10 million from the central foundation plus the other 14 foundations, there will be NO TEACHER who will not be guaranteed that money will be there for their entire career. Teachers are the most precious commodity for the education of our children, they need to be supported and protected. Jose Granda is on their side.
  • I believe it is completely irresponsible of the school board to fund teaching positions with parcel taxes. These are funded on soft money and what good does it do to hire young talented teachers if you are going to fire them just because the board cannot balance the budget under the constraints and interests of others such as the school administrators who receive huge salaries compared to the teachers. Yet these young teachers are the disposable ponds the School Board has set up to be expendable and to be the hostages to press the taxpayers into approving these unfair tax measures.

For the record if elected Prof. Jose J. Granda will vote against any firing of young teachers and will diligently work to create a solid foundation of money to protect teacher’s careers, from beginning to retirement.  They need all our support, they are the most precious commodity for success in education, and I am with them but also for sound financial responsibility to the taxpayers.

Jose Granda is a Professor at Sacramento State and a candidate for the Davis School Board.

About The Author

Related posts

46 Comments

  1. medwoman

    “There is little known about my expertise with Non-Profit organizations. I am President and CEO of AECALIFORNIA Inc., a 501(c) (3) organization whose purpose is to raise funds to support American doctors from UCD, Kaiser and other states who go to operate for FREE on children with facial deformities in Countries like Ecuador and Colombia. My wife and I have participated on this effort for sixteen years and what I can tell you is that it is not difficult at all to raise money and big money with a 501(c) (3) Non-Profit organization.”

    I am a strong supporter of these kinds of initiatives and am very appreciative of your work in this field.
    I am in agreement that it is possible for a 501(c) (3) nonprofit to raise large amounts of money for unique and very specific and dramatic endeavors such as children’s facial reconstruction surgery. I am somewhat skeptical that 14 separate entities within the same communiy, each seeking to raise funds for their own school would meet with as much success. And if one or more did not, where will they obtain additional funding ?

  2. Mr.Toad

    “I believe it is completely irresponsible of the school board to fund teaching positions with parcel taxes. These are funded on soft money and …”

    Yet your solution is the softest money of all, voluntary donations, a sort of taxation oxymoron. The notion that you could panhandle the kind of money the schools need year after year has been tested and it is difficult to sustain. When you group is the only one doing a certain type of humanitarian work it is easier to sustain but every town in america has a school system that needs extra support.

    Davis already has 501(c) (3) foundations that I have personally donated hundreds of dollars to over each of the last several years. Has Dr. Granda donated to these groups? Has he, as the old saying goes, put his money where his mouth is?

    If he thinks he can supplement the funding of the schools this way he should do so and demonstrate the viability of his idea and then run for school board. He could then run as a hero instead of Ebenezer Scrooge. In fact, Rochelle Swanson used her activities in this regard as a basis of her commitment to the community in her run for city council. One of the reasons I support Susan Lovenburg is because she has worked tirelessly to keep the schools afloat during the biggest economic downturn in the last 80 years.

  3. Nancy Price

    Mr. Granda makes some good points about the fairness of Measure E in regard to out-of-town students, apartment dwellers and seniors. But what I don’t understand about David Greenwald and Mr. Granda’s articles today is that neither makes a strong case for passage of new state funding for schools through either Prop 30 or 38. And, more importantly, in my opinion, Mr. Granda seems to be forgetting or ignoring the crucial Serrano v. Priest cases of 1971 and 1976 which sought to level out disparities between “rich” and “poor” school districts by changing from local property tax to state per-pupil funding.

    For decades, however, rich districts have been able through parcel taxes, foundations and other means to supplement state funding, while poor districts and their teachers and students unable to raise supplemental funds suffered the consequences. For this reason, in my view, the Davis School Board, district leaders, teachers, parents, and students should be out campaigning hard for the Governor’s revenue increase alternatives so that all schools, teachers and students in California can benefit and not just campaign for local Measure E.

    What’s more, I am surprised Mr. Granda would advocate for school-based foundations that would seem to me to bring the disparities noted above between districts down to the community level. Davis is not homogeneous and significant local neighborhood economic disparities are real and are reflected in the neighborhood schools. How would he propose to minimize these differences?

  4. Greg Brucker

    I have many things to say about Mr. Granda’s “arguments,” but here is the first.

    Mr. Granda is placing his concerns at the wrong doorstep with regard to this:

    ” It is important to put into perspective my opposition to Measure E because I sincerely believe it is an unfair new tax that allows several groups of people not to pay the taxes while receiving the same educational services. This is not the American way where the equal protection clause considers all of us equal in all aspects of our lives. For that reason, the theme of my campaign “Excellence in Education with Sound Financial Responsibility”.”

    This is not a local issue. This is due to Prop 13 (which dictates how school districts can apply tax measures for local school funding), and if Mr. Granda doesn’t like what Prop. 13 did to this state, than he should be directing his focus toward Sacramento and not at the DJUSD (which has no control over how they are able to ask for a community supported parcel tax). Next, his issue with “Sound Financial Responsibility” is not with the DJUSD as their budget is balanced outside of the cuts incurred through a loss of State funding. So again, his argument here is against Sacramento, and not DJUSD.

    Further, you can’t have it both ways, we either have Excellence in Education or $7 million of cuts to teachers, staff, and administration, the closing of schools, etc. That doesn’t sound like excellence in education to me. If we lose both 30 and E, the $7 million gap will create a potential loss of between 110 and 125 teachers. There are only 450 of us. You cannot have excellence in education by cutting 1/4 of the teachers in any school district.

    As that this is his first statement and his main concern, it negates his argument, because it is clear his issue is with Sacramento and not the DJUSD.

    The other thing to add now is that he has NO plan to deal with the $7 million dollars of cuts that will come with the non passage of E and 30 and seems to think it will magically work out. He clearly has NO understanding of budgets and how the DJUSD budget works if he claimed that the passage of 30 relieves the need for measure E. If 30 passes and E doesn’t, we still have a $3.2 million budget gap to deal with going into 13-14. Last year, due to a $3.5 million cut, we ended up with 45 less teaching positions, larger class sizes, and worse conditions for teachers and students.

    More later…..

  5. Mr.Toad

    Contrary to Dr. Granda’s misguided arguments that our parcel taxes somehow violate the basic ideals of taxation without representation and equal protection these taxes have passed with super majorities of voters usually in the 75-85 percent range. Obviously the community is comfortable with the structure of the proposals that try to create some progressivity where those who have more pay more. At 64 years of age Mr. Granda could simply use his senior citizen status, a status that he derides, to opt out of paying instead of poisoning the well of support for the education of the children of this community with his absurd nonsensical crusade.

    Vote yes on E and no on Granda.

  6. hpierce

    Why not just eliminate the senior exemptions, charge the MF unit 50% of the SF rate and vote for a measure that raises the same revenue? Oh, guess that might decrease the odds that a measure will pass. The district, and folks like Mr Toad, actually play on the “get others to pay for what is needed” game.

    If the seniors exemption was removed, and MF units paid 50% of the SF rate, I’d gladly support the parcel tax. As it stands now, with the districts letter that said “support this increase, because you can get an exemption, fill out form below” cynicism, not so likely. Seems like Mr Granda’s arguments are NOT against funding, but against the [b]fairness[/b] issue. I am inclined to agree with that issue.

  7. Davis Progressive

    mr. toad you make the critical point about the flaw of granda’s argument. he derides a parcel tax as “soft money” but instead wishes to fund them on softer money. the argument makes no sense. fundraising is one-time, non-guaranteed, no repeating money. a parcel tax guarantees a set amount of money for a given period of time.

    mr. granda in fact does not understand school budgeting. and does not appear to understand that the county would not allow the district to finance teachers on an ongoing basis based on fundraising from private sources.

  8. rusty49

    Toad:
    “Obviously the community is comfortable with the structure of the proposals that try to create some progressivity where those who have more pay more.”

    Not necessarily. Most seniors have much more because their houses are likely paid off and they’ve had a lifetime to amass money but they don’t have to pay. Just because someone is trying to buy a house doesn’t mean that they’re better off, in a lot of cases they’re much worse off and just trying to make ends meet and pay their high mortgages. Renters aren’t necessarily less well off, many rent today because owning a house has been a losing proposition.

  9. Davis Progressive

    rusty: you really back up your points with anything in the way of facts and that harms your argument.

    the first problem is that the law only allows senior exemptions. under prop 13, which you are probably its biggest champion, you cannot have any type of progressive parcel tax and are only allow a senior exemption without any kind of means test. there are seniors who are well off. i would hope that they do not take the optional exemption – less than half of all seniors take the exemption. but for many who live on fixed incomes, the parcel tax would force them out of their homes potentially.

    second, you state: “Renters aren’t necessarily less well off, many rent today because owning a house has been a losing proposition. “

    here researching your answer would help. the vast majority of renters in this town are students who do not have a lot of money and more importantly do not have strong ties to this community and certainly its schools.

    more importantly you miss the fact that the rate is not a tax on renters, it is a tax on landlords. the renter may be passed through, but the bulk of the tax is paid for by the owner. if that’s the case, do you believe that a rental unit should count the same as a house? should a landlord have to pay $600 per unit for each of his units? should a renter have to pay $600 on top of their rent? none of that makes actual sense does it?

  10. hpierce

    [b]Every[/b] time a school measure has been proposed, yes, I have voted in favor (been a homeowner, paying ‘top freight’, for over 30 years)… admittedly I was reluctant this spring, due in large part to the DJUSD cynicism in the letter that was sent out, but I ended up holding my nose and voting for the tax.

    I also pay much higher taxes (more than a thousand) for school MR bonds, even though none of my children benefited from the new construction or upgrades… can YOU say the same Growth Issue?

    If DTA doesn’t come to the plate,and accept ‘worst-case scenarios’ concessions, that will affect them without affecting the instructional product (furloughs, which are unpaid vacation, cuts out instructional time, doesn’t cut it).

    I’ll ask you a question back… did you support measures supporting financing of the City of Davis? If not, shut the hell up.

  11. rusty49

    “more importantly you miss the fact that the rate is not a tax on renters, it is a tax on landlords. the renter may be passed through, but the bulk of the tax is paid for by the owner. if that’s the case, do you believe that a rental unit should count the same as a house? should a landlord have to pay $600 per unit for each of his units? should a renter have to pay $600 on top of their rent? none of that makes actual sense does it?”

    Well, the homeowner has to pay an extra $600 on TOP OF THEIR HOUSE PAYMENT. As Mr. Granda states:
    “Others do not pay these taxes equally but they also get the same educational services. Regardless of income, those who live in apartments will pay ($20), but if you live in a home you will pay ($446). That is 22 times more. However, the education provided to children from parents who live in apartments is exactly the same as that for kids who live in a home.This group too, gets a free ride and gets to vote to impose the taxes on you the homeowner. Is that fair? Measure E does not consider income; it is based on where you live.”

  12. rusty49

    “here researching your answer would help. the vast majority of renters in this town are students who do not have a lot of money and more importantly do not have strong ties to this community and certainly its schools.”

    Then why should they be able to vote to raise other’s taxes if they have NO SKIN IN THE GAME?

  13. Mr.Toad

    “I’ll ask you a question back… did you support measures supporting financing of the City of Davis? If not, shut the hell up.”

    I don’t understand the relevance of this remark?

  14. hpierce

    [quote]more importantly you miss the fact that the rate is not a tax on renters, it is a tax on landlords.[quote][/quote] do you believe that a rental unit should count the same as a house?[/quote][quote]should a landlord have to pay $600 per unit for each of his units? should a renter have to pay $600 on top of their rent? none of that makes actual sense does it? [quote]you really back up your points with anything in the way of facts and that harms your argument. [/quote][/quote]

    Back at you, Growth Issue… MANY SF residences are rentals…some MF units are ownership (condos). Your logic and the criticism of rusty’s logic FAILS. [and I agree with rusty ~ 1% of the time]. What about a senior, on a fixed income (which may be ‘fixed’ @ 25 k/year or 200k per year, but it is “fixed”) owns a SF house, used as a rental, that helps the senior ‘get by’? They cannot claim the exemption because it is not “owner occupied”. Where is the fairness, where a condo owner pays the MF rate, and the senior who owns a SF rental pays full freight?.

  15. Mr.Toad

    “If DTA doesn’t come to the plate,and accept ‘worst-case scenarios’ concessions, that will affect them without affecting the instructional product (furloughs, which are unpaid vacation, cuts out instructional time, doesn’t cut it). “

    So its the teachers fault that the schools are broke? Add this to the list of sins of teachers in the failures of education.

  16. Mr.Toad

    “What about a senior, on a fixed income (which may be ‘fixed’ @ 25 k/year or 200k per year, but it is “fixed”) owns a SF house, used as a rental, that helps the senior ‘get by’? They cannot claim the exemption because it is not “owner occupied”. Where is the fairness, where a condo owner pays the MF rate, and the senior who owns a SF rental pays full freight?.”

    The system is not perfect is your complaint. Fair enough but to get there you are really fine tuning your argument to the point that you are down to fairly complex examples. Problem is few taxation systems are perfect and I would like to hear from someone in this situation. Are you speaking for yourself or just coming up with hypotheticals?

  17. wdf1

    [i]”Granda’s counterproposal for school funding involves “a (nonprofit) foundation for each of the Davis schools, with the purpose to enhance education at that school.”[/i]

    It seems that Granda has not had a kid of his own in the public schools for a while, because he doesn’t know how local schools work these days. There are plenty of nonprofit foundations in this town, and the PTA’s at each site do extensive fundraising to fill in cuts. He needs to explain how this idea is different from what already exists.

    I also point out that it has become a concern that not all school sites under the current system can be as effective at fundraising as others, much of it due to income inequities among neighborhoods. The model Granda proposes is already in use, it is far from being able to replace money that has been cut, and carried to extremes that Granda hopes for, would magnify the results of income disparities beyond what already exists. Measure E will provide more stable funding to our local schools. And Granda needs to spend more time studying how Davis schools work in 2012.

    It would have been helpful if he had taken the time to explain the difference between his idea and what we currently have. Right now, this idea is useless.

  18. hpierce

    [quote]“I’ll ask you a question back… did you support measures supporting financing of the City of Davis? If not, shut the hell up.”

    I don’t understand the relevance of this remark? [/quote]

    Simple… GI seemed to question the validity of my remarks based on whether I was a “no taxes” kinda person. I’m not. Over the years, I’ve seen some staunch defenders of teachers and schools attack other public employees’ wages and benefits.

    There are those out there (including you?) who would love a ‘cooperative” relationship with the City whereby City workers would get a 10% cut in compensation, and half of the savings would be passed over to DJUSD.

  19. Mr.Toad

    “There are those out there (including you?) who would love a ‘cooperative” relationship with the City whereby City workers would get a 10% cut in compensation, and half of the savings would be passed over to DJUSD.”

    I have never advocated that position. At most I have lamented how much the non use of medical benefits cash out has grown.

  20. rusty49

    GI:
    “rusty: apartment dweller do not pay, their landlords do. do you believe a landlord should have to pay $600 per unit?”

    Comeon GI, this is the farce that you pro Measure E people try to throw out there. Renters pay that tax indirectly. It’s all included in their rent, the apt. owner knows their total costs and charges rent accordingly. I actually like hpierce’s idea of charging apt’s 50% of the homeowner’s rate. Many renters have children who attend our schools and they should have to pay THEIR FAIR SHARE. Damn, I loved saying that.

  21. medwoman

    “Then why should they be able to vote to raise other’s taxes if they have NO SKIN IN THE GAME? “

    Everyone who lives in a community has “skin in the game ” with regard to the quality of education within that community. Whether it is your own children that are being educated or those of others, a better educated group of young people will be more likely to contribute more to the community as a whole. More likely to achieve higher academic levels, have better jobs, have more discretionary spending ability thus stimulating the overall economy, contribute more in both taxes and charitable giving and be less likely to be a drain on society in terms of criminal activity or need for supportive services.

    Sounds to me like this is an investment in all of our futures which is the essence of skin in the game.

  22. hpierce

    [quote]At most I have lamented how much the non use of medical benefits cash out has grown. [/quote]I fully agree with you on this. Sorry for “tone” earlier. Coffee hadn’t kicked in.

  23. hpierce

    [quote]Sounds to me like this is an investment in all of our futures which is the essence of skin in the game. [/quote]True enough, but the fact of the matter is that transient students and seniors who exempt themselves are telling me how much “skin” I have to put into the game. I may yet vote for the parcel tax (and AM voting for 30), but the DTA position, in light of the other bargaining groups, is troubling. As Orwell wrote, “all animals are equal…. but some are more equal than others”… smells of arrogance. if DTA members disavowed their local/state/national unions, and took their dues to contribute to the district, we’d be closer to solving the local crisis.

  24. Mr.Toad

    “As Orwell wrote, “all animals are equal…. but some are more equal than others”… smells of arrogance. if DTA members disavowed their local/state/national unions, and took their dues to contribute to the district, we’d be closer to solving the local crisis.”

    There would still be an asymmetry between what you are being asked to give and what they are being asked to give. If these cost were equalized the teachers would be giving even less then they are now. Of course if the teacher lives in Davis you are asking them to give twice.

  25. Michael Harrington

    The Davis school system quality probably adds 25% to the local property values So if you invest by paying the taxes, your values are up? Not a bad investment.

  26. medwoman

    hpierce

    [quote]True enough, but the fact of the matter is that transient students and seniors who exempt themselves are telling me how much “skin” I have to put into the game[/quote]

    True. And it is also true that some of these same students will stay and be productive members of our community and some of these seniors have paid in for years and years when they could afford it. I do not believe that they should be discounted just because they are now on limited incomes. And you will have the same right once you get to the appropriate age.

    If you have ever voted for a parcel tax, then you in fact have told other voters how much “skin they needed to put in the game” with your vote. This to me seems to be the epitome of fairness. We as a people who are part of a representative democracy get to decide with our votes, just how much we will contribute collectively.
    Sometimes we will perceive ourselves as on the “winning” side, sometimes not. But it seems to me that this is the essence of our system. I don’t think it is wrong to vote what one perceives to be in their best interest, but I do believe that it is possible to be quite short sighted about what is in ones long term as well as short term best interest. I believe that the long term best interest of the majority of us will coincide with what is best for our community as a whole.

    Oh, my gosh, an almost Randian viewpoint ( albeit Through the Looking Glass) if you are reading this Jeff ; )

  27. J.R.

    The School Board should offer the teachers the option of a pay cut as an alternative to the furlough option. The teachers have the welfare of the students as their overwhelming concern, so I’m sure they would prefer this alternative that would not cut instruction for the children.

    This would be a win win!

  28. J.R.

    [quote]The Davis school system quality probably adds 25% to the local property values So if you invest by paying the taxes, your values are up? Not a bad investment.[/quote]

    I don’t follow this logic. Actually, you are worse off since you pay higher property taxes if your house is valued more highly. Across Davis we are paying millions more in property taxes because our houses are at higher assessed values than nearby communities.

    The only time you might benefit is if you sell your home and leave town. So Michael Harrington seems to be saying that we should tailor our policies towards those who want to leave town.

  29. wdf1

    J.R.: [i]The only time you might benefit is if you sell your home and leave town.[/i]

    Or if you wanted to refinance, which potentially results in ongoing savings, depending on what terms of refinance you work out.

  30. Mr.Toad

    “Actually, you are worse off since you pay higher property taxes if your house is valued more highly.”

    Depends on when you bought your house because of Prop. 13. If Granda bought his house in the 1980’s when he started at Sac State he is probably paying less in property taxes than any parent with children in the Davis schools.

  31. J.R.

    [url]Depends on when you bought your house [/url]

    Not so. You are confusing increases in property taxes, which are limited by Prop 13, and the initially higher levels set when you purchase a home.

    If Granda bought his house long ago, then he has been paying higher taxes for many years compared to what he would have paid if housing had been cheaper when he bought.

    Maybe he got his money’s worth from having his kids go to better schools. But pretending he got a financial windfall from paying higher property taxes all these years is erroneous logically.

    [quote]Or if you wanted to refinance, [/quote]

    It’s true that if you want to use your home as a piggybank, pulling out more than you put in, then you might want higher values. As we have seen however, this is not a smart financial move.

    Those who bought overvalued Davis homes a few years ago and now want to sell or refinance are suffering now for the extra they paid due to the Davis “Good School” premium.

  32. wdf1

    J.R.: [i]It’s true that if you want to use your home as a piggybank, pulling out more than you put in, then you might want higher values. As we have seen however, this is not a smart financial move.[/i]

    We refinanced to a [b]lower interest rate[/b] a year and a half ago, but same term. So no, we weren’t using our refinance to pull out more money. Why continue to make mortgage payments at a higher interest rate when lower rates are available? Housing values in Davis have retained more of their value than any other community that I can find in the Sacramento area. We had enough equity to be able to refinance, barely. If we had tried to refinance in any surrounding community, we would likelier have been under water and unable refinance under normal terms. We have saved far more money in reduced mortgage payments than the annual value of any school parcel taxes.

    So yes, if all you’re interested in is immediate dollars and cents, school parcel taxes allow local schools to keep certain programs that many families appreciate, hence increasing the desirability of living here and the value of homes. And by having more stability of value, you can derive ongoing value in my example presented above. And with more stability of value, fewer homes have underwater mortgages.

    But that’s not why I have supported the school parcel taxes. I support them because it is a way to have a local say in what kind of schools we want. I would prefer that the state legislature find a way to make funding available, but that’s not happening, because voters in Redding, Turlock, or Oceanside want something else to happen, and they’re not thinking in Davis’ best interest when they’re voting.

  33. hpierce

    [quote] For this reason, in my view, the Davis School Board, district leaders, teachers, parents, and students should be out campaigning hard for the Governor’s revenue increase alternatives so that all schools, teachers and students in California can benefit and not just campaign for local Measure E. [/quote]Agreed. Strongly….

  34. eagle eye

    Separate foundations for each school site would be an interesting idea,
    but it overlooks the problem of big contributors expecting and/or
    receiving special treatment for their children.

    We know a wonderful high school senior, a Davis student since 2nd grade, whose family is now homeless, and Davis will not enroll him for his senior year. “Classes at the high school are at capacity.” How is it that students from out of town are attending Davis schools and there’s no
    room for this long time Davis resident/student?
    Something odd must be going on ~

  35. hpierce

    [quote][b]If you have ever voted for a parcel tax[/b], then you in fact have told other voters how much “skin they needed to put in the game” with your vote.[/quote]Every time, since the first one. Been a homeowner for over 30 years. Apartment dwellers procreate too. Fairness issues exist. The parcel levy CAN be more fair. Yet DJUSD uses “tactical” methods to achieve what the state has failed to do (after ripping off local agencies) n a cynical way.

    I’m all for a good/great local school system, but am feeling “played” with this measure. Would help my doubts if Mr Toad and DTA would be willing to come to the plate like local (city and county) state, and UCD have had to do.

  36. hpierce

    [quote]Depends on when you bought your house because of Prop. 13. If Granda bought his house in the 1980’s when he started at Sac State he is probably paying less in property taxes than any parent with children in the Davis schools. [/quote]Yes, but what is wrong with that? The house I live in pays huge property taxes to support schools… even if you bought your house recently, depending on when the area was developed, you pay a disproportionate amount of taxes for the DJUSD MR taxes (beyond valuations). Ironically, many people pay MORE taxes to DJUSD than they contribute to the ‘need’ for services.

    Mr Toad, again I confront you… was your house built before ~ 1988? Do you have children in the DJUSD? If one or more answers are yes, you owe the DJUSD at least $1,000 per year… gonna ‘pony up’?

  37. Mr.Toad

    i can’t come to the plate because I don’t work for this district.

    Interesting that you blame me for additional taxation distortions caused by prop 13 in the form of Mello Roos. This explains why the no votes come predominately from the newer area’s where the residents have paid more for their homes and are more heavily taxed.

    Actually we give money to the Schools Foundation not quite as much as you suggest but we try to give to various needs in the community; the food bank, Yolo Casa, Sahaya International, and KDVS, KDRT, Steac to name a few that get regular donations.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for