Ballot Arguments for School Parcel Tax

Alan Fernandes in December 2018 was pushing this issue

With the city council election joining the school board in moving to the fall, the biggest question on the March ballot – basically two months away now – will be whether voters will approve the school parcel tax increase, which will go toward closing the teacher compensation gap.

If approved, Measure G, the parcel tax, would levy an ongoing parcel tax of $198 per year with senior, disability, and employee exemptions.

To see the full text and impartial analysis: here.

Signers in favor of the measure include: Delaine Eastin, the Davis resident who is a former California Superintendent of Public Instruction; Ryan Davis, the President of the Davis Schools Foundation; Roxanne Deutsch, a 2nd Grade teacher; Bill Roe, a business and community leader; and JoAnn Diel, a retired minister and public school teacher.  On the rebuttal to the argument against they have: Alan Fernandes and Joe DiNunzio from the school board; Victor Lagunes from the Davis Teachers Association; Sande Royval from CSEA; and Cory Koehler, the Executive Director of the Davis Chamber.

Meanwhile, the same four signed the opposition arguments: Mary McDonald, a parent and school psychologist; John Hoover from the Yolo Taxpayers Association; Katie Kelly a farmer and parent; and Tom Randall, a local resident.


Argument in Favor

Measure G (http://www.measuregyes.com/) will maintain the Davis tradition of educational excellence for the children in our schools by supporting our teachers and school staff for about 50 cents a day.

Teachers in Davis schools are at the center of student achievement. Keeping teacher and support staff salaries competitive attracts the best educators to our schools and prevents staff from leaving for higher paying districts. Currently, Davis teachers and staff are paid less on average than those in other schools in our region. Measure G fixes this systemic problem and ensures high quality public education into the future.

Measure G allows our school district to:

  • Attract and retain outstanding teachers and educational staff.
  • Maintain a high quality education for our students by preserving excellent academic programs in reading, writing, math, history, arts, and science.
  • Ensure students have the teaching support needed to prepare them for college and 21st century careers.

Salaries for Davis teachers and school staff are lower than neighboring school districts. Measure G provides dedicated funding to close this compensation gap.  It will help Davis recruit and retain the best educators, maintaining our community tradition of educational excellence in our public schools, and preserving strong property values.

All funding raised by Measure G will go directly to raising pay for our teachers and support staff.

Measure G protects seniors by providing a waiver.

California spends less on education per pupil than most other states.  Recent changes in state law have reduced DJUSD’s share of funding even further.  Local action is needed to honor our commitment to our educators.

Join students, parents, seniors, business and community leaders, the Davis Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association and Support Measure G!  www.MeasureGYes.com

Signed:

  • Delaine Eastin, Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Ryan Davis, President of the Davis Schools Foundation
  • Roxanne Deutsch, 2nd Grade Teacher, DJUSD
  • William (Bill) Roe, Davis Business and Community Leader
  • JoAnn Diel, Retired Minister and Davis Public School Teacher

Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor

Supporters of Measure G present an emotional appeal without providing the background voters need to make an informed decision. After researching the facts, we cannot support Measure G. Better solutions exist for increasing teacher salaries. 

Please consider:

In 2016 we approved Measure H, a $620/year parcel tax supporting Davis schools. In 2018 we approved Measure M, giving our schools 11 million annually for 30 years. Now, we are being asked to raise taxes yet again. Might existing funds be used to increase teacher salaries?

The median household income of Davis residents is $57,000/year. Can homeowners afford over $1,400/year in school taxes? Can tenants afford rent increases resulting from these taxes?

Farmers and homeowners already bear a disproportionate weight of school taxes, yet Measure G taxes a small plot of farmland or home the same as an office building or hotel. Might restructuring Measure G resolve this issue?

Unless modified, Measure G raises taxes yearly without end. Shall our poor planning burden future generations?

Two statewide measures, designed to increase funding of K-12 schools will be on the March/November 2020 ballot. Shouldn’t we wait for the voters’ response to these before increasing school parcel taxes?

We are a group of concerned Davis residents representing all, including farmers, low-income, seniors and future generations. We trust the innovation and diligence of the DJUSD to devise alternative funding and/or fair taxation practices to increase teacher salaries.

Give the school board a chance to improve their proposal. Vote NO on Measure G.

Thank you for your consideration.

www.noparceltaxes.org

Signed:

  • Mary McDonald, School Psychologist, Parent
  • John Hoover, President, Yolo County Taxpayers Association
  • Katie Kelly, Davis Farmer, Parent
  • Tom Randall Jr., Davis Resident

Argument Against

Davis residents have consistently supported increasing taxes for our schools. However, after careful analysis, we urge a NO vote on Measure G.  To ensure the continued health of our community, other options for increasing teacher salaries should be explored. 

Please consider these facts and questions:

Our district receives four times more voter-levied tax dollars/student than any other district in our region. The DJUSD currently receives funds from four separate parcel tax increases. Since 2010, the amount of parcel tax a Davis homeowner pays to support Davis schools has increased by more than 100%. Might existing funds be better used to increase teacher salaries?

Were Measure G to pass, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $391,000 would pay $1,400/year in school parcel taxes. This offsets the benefits of Proposition 13—designed to keep aging and lower-income residents in their homes. How would Measure G impact the age and economic diversity of our community?

Measure G raises taxes on thousands of acres of farmland. Doesn’t this offset the benefits of the Williamson Act—designed to protect the farming community so vital to our Davis heritage?

Measure G would tax a 900-square-foot home the same as a 50-unit apartment building. Why are homeowners bearing an unfair share of school parcel taxes? Shouldn’t taxation be based on the square foot of the structure such as in other districts?

Many California school districts are funded almost exclusively by LCFF, Federal and other State revenues. Might the DJUSD better obtain funding from these sources?

Each year over 600 students from other districts receive inter-district transfers to attend Davis schools. Is it fair that these students are subsidized by our tax dollars?

Vote for responsible school funding. Send Measure G back to the school board for revision. Vote NO on Measure G.

Signed:

  • Mary McDonald, School Psychologist, Parent
  • John Hoover, President, Yolo County Taxpayers Association
  • Katie Kelly, Davis Farmer, Parent
  • Tom Randall Jr, Davis Resident

Rebuttal to the Argument Against

The “No” position’s claims are simply not supported by the facts:

  • CLAIM: The District receives substantially more funding than other regional districts.
    • FACT: DJUSD receives less funding from the State than average districts in the region.  Local funding from the existing parcel tax was approved by voters to fund community priorities in science, the arts, libraries, and other programs.
  • CLAIM: There is existing money available to fund teacher increases elsewhere in the budget.
    • FACT: 85% of District costs are for employee compensation.  DJUSD already spends less than comparable districts for the remaining non-employee costs.  Increasing teacher compensation requires additional local funding or a reduction in teachers and corresponding reduction in programs.
  • CLAIM: This creates economic hardship for senior citizens on fixed incomes.
    • FACT: Measure G provides seniors an exemption if they so choose.
  • CLAIM: This “offsets” the Williamson Act for thousands of acres of farmland.
    • FACT: Measure G has no impact on the Williamson Act, a state law, and most Davis farms are taxed as one parcel.
  • CLAIM: DJUSD should seek more funding from the State of California.
    • FACT: The State funding for each district is legally fixed by a formula.
  • CLAIM: DJUSD has hundreds of out-of-boundary students who unfairly benefit from those who pay the tax.
    • FACT: Each out-of-boundary student provides more than $8,900 in State funding to DJUSD.  Having these students attend our schools enables the District to maintain a steady enrollment, avoiding significant budget and program cuts.

Signed:

  • Alan Fernandes, DJUSD Trustee
  • Joe DiNunzio, DJUSD Trustee
  • Victor Lagunes, President Davis Teachers Association
  • Sande Royval, President California School Employee Association – Davis
  • Cory Koehler, Executive Director Davis Chamber of Commerce

 


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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61 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    People who farm and have land protected under the Williamson Act pay much lower property taxes than homeowners for property with the same value. As an example a home with the assessed value of $391,000 would pay $ 3910 in base property taxes while the Williamson Act protected farm might  pay as little as $391 in base rates.

    From the County website:

    SB 863 provided for a reduction in the term of Williamson Act contracts (from 10 years to 9), accompanied by an addition to the assessed value of affected properties.  The addition was based on a formula that allowed landowners to retain at least 90% of the tax savings created by participation in the Williamson Act while also replacing a portion of the County’s lost tax revenues. 

    https://www.yolocounty.org/general-government/general-government-departments/assessor/williamson-act-land-value-calculator

  2. Hiram Jackson

    “In 2018 we approved Measure M, giving our schools 11 million annually for 30 years.”

    Measure M was a school bond measure to pay for facilities upgrades and repairs.  Measure M money can’t be used to pay for school staff salaries, the way that is implied.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Very true… but it may have freed up other GF monies budgeted for those purposes… which then could be used for total comp.

      Not unheard of ‘shell game’… many different agencies have used that ploy, over the years… only a sharp, thorough, independent auditor could discern whether of not that has/will take place. Don’t count on internal DJUSD audits to reveal/disclose whether or not.

    2. Hiram Jackson

      “…but it may have freed up other GF monies budgeted for those purposes… which then could be used for total comp.”

      The way I follow it, the district has a line item to cover emergency facilities maintenance — fixing a leak in a roof, a busted water pipe.  Although in a given year, if lucky, it might be able to replace the whole roof, or the whole pipeline, it is better suited to address a temporary fix.  That line item will not replace a whole MPR or upgrade a science lab, which is kind of expenditure that Measure M addresses.

  3. Bill Marshall

    One of the things that has not been fully disclosed is the “other” exemptions, beside seniors… includes DJUSD employees, as I understand it… so, if they live in the district (like seniors), they can vote in favor of the new assessment, and have no ‘skin in the game’.  Representation (benefiting them), without taxation… good deal when you find it.

    There are problems with complete honesty on both sides of the arguments and rebuttals… Hiram picked upon one of them, but even that may be nuanced.

    Both sides appear to have done a ‘brain dump’ on talking points, cobbled them together without much editing, and so all the arguments and rebuttals have a “sniff” to them…

  4. Ron Glick

    “Were Measure G to pass, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $391,000 would pay $1,400/year in school parcel taxes.  This offsets the benefits of Proposition 13—designed to keep aging and lower-income residents in their homes. ”

    The opponents never explain where this $391,000 figure comes from but if I had to guess I would venture its the average appraised value for tax purposes of a home in Davis . Since houses are going for around $425/sq. ft. that isn’t even an assessment that would cover a 1000sq. ft. home purchased today. So the people who have been in their homes longest still benefit most from prop 13. Also if these aging homeowners, like my neighbor who is the original homeowner of a home purchased in 1968, can’t afford the taxes they can file for an exemption.

    1. Bill Marshall

      And, a home with an assessed value of  $450,000, $650,000, and $723,891 would pay $1,400/year in school parcel taxes.  Why they’re called parcel taxes.  Nice try for the head fake by the opponents.

      But, if that $391,000 home was owned by a senior, or, as I understand it, a DJUSD employee, $0.00 in new taxes if they choose the exemption(s).  The pro folk don’t mention that.

       

  5. Ron Glick

    “Measure G would tax a 900-square-foot home the same as a 50-unit apartment building. Why are homeowners bearing an unfair share of school parcel taxes?”

    The reason that a 900 square foot home is taxed at the same rate as a 50 unit apartment building is because of the settlement of a lawsuit against the district where Tom Randall was a plaintiff. So Randall is now signing onto a ballot argument that complains about the unfairness of a settlement that he is responsible for and agreed to less than a decade ago.

    What is particularly disingenuous is posing this part of the ballot argument as a question as if they have no idea how this came to be when one of the signers is responsible for the very structure they claim is unfair.

  6. Bill Marshall

    David/DV… posting the text of the actual ballot measure (or, a link to it from DJUSD or County websites) might be good, as well, as you have for the pro/con arguments/rebuttals.

    Might cut down on some of the nonsense between now and March… but, perhaps not…

    1. Bill Marshall

      Regarding exemptions:

      Pursuant to any procedures adopted by the District, upon application an exemption from payment of the Parcel Tax shall be granted on any Parcel of Taxable Real Property owned by one or more of the following:
      a. Persons who will attain 65 years of age as of July 1 of the tax year and are occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence (“Senior Citizen Exemption”);
       b. Persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, and occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence (“SSI Exemption”);
       c. Persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250 percent of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence (“SSDI Exemption”);
       d. Persons who own and occupy said parcel as his or her principal residence and who, as of July 1 of the tax year for which an exemption is sought, meet both of the conditions described in (i) and (ii) below:
       i. Are District Employees. “District Employees” are persons who meet any of the following categories:
      1. Temporary certificated employees of the District, as defined by Education Code sections 44909, 44919, 44920, and 44921.
      2. Probationary certificated employees of the District, as defined by Education Code section 44915.
      3. Permanent certificated employees of the District, as defined by Education Code sections 44830 and 44929.21.
      4. Permanent classified employees of the District, as defined by Education Code sections 45101, 45103, and 45113.

      ii. Are guaranteed a half-time or greater assignment with the District for the following school year.

      Voters of all those classes are entitled to vote on the measure, with $0.00 assessment, if they so choose their exemption.

  7. Ron Oertel

    Had I been “in charge of” the ballot arguments (on either side), the first thing I would have done is to provide information regarding existing compensation levels.

    Based upon the arguments presented above, there seems to be an underlying “conclusion” that teacher compensation needs to be increased, in a district with declining resident enrollments.  (By not challenging this, it gives the “proponents” an advantage.)

    1. David Greenwald

      That was definitely part of the analysis that went into designing the measure and part of the year long discussion of the subcommittee of Alan Fernandes and Joe DiNunzio.  I’m bit surprised they didn’t put more of that into the ballot arguments.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I’m not sure that would work to their “advantage”, when comparing compensation with other local/regional professions, as well as other local school districts which are facing significantly greater budget challenges.  (Sacramento comes to mind, from what I recall. Didn’t they lay off a bunch of teachers, there?)

        The “other” argument (against) that I might have put forth is the potential impact on city finances, if voters become “fatigued” of approving more parcel taxes in the future – for the city itself. (Assuming that the school district parcel tax is approved.)

        1. Hiram Jackson

          “…other local school districts which are facing significantly greater budget challenges.  (Sacramento comes to mind, from what I recall. Didn’t they lay off a bunch of teachers, there?)”

          Sacramento Unified doesn’t seem to be able to show a clear picture of their financial situation.  Last year their administration went from declaring a financial crisis and demanding concessions on compensation to teachers, to suddenly & unexpectedly finding money that they didn’t realize was available.

        2. Hiram Jackson

          “The “other” argument (against) that I might have put forth is the potential impact on city finances, if voters become “fatigued” of approving more parcel taxes in the future – for the city itself. (Assuming that the school district parcel tax is approved.)”

          For what it’s worth, all five current Davis City Council members have endorsed Measure G.

        3. Bill Marshall

          Hiram… traditional over 30+ years… CC bows to DJUSD… one of the reasons, is historically, many DJUSD Board members ran for, and gained CC seats… maybe other reasons…

          City put off revenue measures several times in the past, and/or suffered losses in those measures, … because they decided to let DJUSD go first.  “It’s for the kids!”

          With the DJUSD and City measures going head to head this time, am betting a lot of voters will reject extension of city sales tax, and vote for the DJUSD  measure.

          Hiram wrote,

          For what it’s worth, all five current Davis City Council members have endorsed Measure G

          Has one or more Board members endorsed the extension of the city sales tax?

          One way street…  even tho’ the DJUSD has often expected (and received) special expenditures from the City to support them…  after all, “it’s for the kids”

        4. Hiram Jackson

          “With the DJUSD and City measures going head to head this time, am betting a lot of voters will reject extension of city sales tax, and vote for the DJUSD  measure.”

          Maybe we disagree, but I don’t see it as an either-or thing.

          “Has one or more Board members endorsed the extension of the city sales tax?”

          I don’t find a campaign website to find that out.

        5. Bill Marshall

          Maybe we disagree, but I don’t see it as an either-or thing.

          Neither do I… I see them as separate issues… but I believe a lot of folk will treat it as either/or… we’ll see… come a few days after the March election… it could be a yes-yes, a yes-no (either way), or a no-no…

          I hope I’m wrong, and voters will agree with you, and vote each on the (measures) individual merits/faults… no point on further guessing… it will be what it will be…

          If it is a yes-no, I predict yes on schools (“it’s for the kids!”), and no on extension of sales tax.  The Board, and those school supporters are  strangely silent on the need for City funding.  Unlike CC members supporting the DJUSD levy.  We’ll see…

        6. Hiram Jackson

          “Has one or more Board members endorsed the extension of the city sales tax?”

          So far Bob Poppenga, Joe DiNunzio, & Cindy Picket, plus several former school board trustees.

          source

           

        1. Ron Oertel

          Bill: The “wage gap” (in comparison to other districts) has been the basis of the arguments, on here.

          (Pretty sure that you’re familiar with this, so I’m not sure what your basis is for claiming that it’s “off-topic” Would you care to elaborate?)

          I’m not sure if the proposed layoff have occurred, in Sacramento. But, the state auditor is apparently suggesting wage reductions for teachers (as noted in the article I posted). Do you have any relevant comments to make, regarding that?

        2. Ron Oertel

          In case anyone’s interested in reading further, regarding the wage cuts proposed for teachers in Sacramento:

          https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article238210649.html

          By the way, what kind of raise (dollar amount, and/or percentage) would be expected for teachers in Davis, as a result of the parcel tax?  And, would it primarily be distributed to entry-level teachers, or would it go to those who are already at/near the top of the scale?  (Or, has that not been “defined”?)

    2. Richard McCann

      State compensation is on a per student per day basis (that’s why the district strongly encourages daily attendance). So total teacher compensation naturally declines with declining enrollment. The parcel tax is a relatively small amount on top of that declining compensation.

      1. Ron Oertel

        State compensation is on a per student per day basis (that’s why the district strongly encourages daily attendance).

        And here I thought that encouraging attendance was for the “benefit of students”. How naive, of me!

        Do they go out with a net each day, and round up the “strays”? Like a dog-catcher? 😉

        . So total teacher compensation naturally declines with declining enrollment.

        I don’t believe that teacher compensation in Davis has “declined”. However, that’s apparently what’s been proposed in Sacramento (see reference, above).

         

         

      2. Bill Marshall

        So total teacher compensation naturally declines with declining enrollment.

        More accurately funds available, from the State, for teacher/staff compensation, decreases with declining enrollment… but your point is still basically valid.

  8. David Greenwald

    “I’m not sure if you’re referring to teachers with that comment, but the “wage gap” has been the basis of the argument (in favor of teacher raises) for quite awhile, on the Vanguard.”

    I’m wondering why you believe you need to state “on the Vanguard” – after all, the compensation gap was first raised by teachers and taken up by the school board.

    1. Bill Marshall

      True… and compensation for City employees, showing similar wage/compensation gaps compared to others, has been dismissed as irrelevant.  In both cases, they ARE relevant… for pretty much the same reasons… attraction of quality candidates, and retention of the better employees.

      Unfortunately, when you raise the tide for the best and brightest, all boats float. Including the marginal. Unfortunate aspect of the public sector.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Particularly, if “unions” are “involved”… applies particularly to DJUSD…

        All DJUSD employees should have their non-salary (benefits) boats float… not so much as to salary.

    2. Ron Oertel

      David:  You’re right (in that it wasn’t limited to the Vanguard), and perhaps the comparison with Sacramento is a reason for its “absence” in the arguments, now. But, it’s certainly something you repeatedly promoted.

      “Comparisons” inevitably lead to inflation. The “goal” will be the one at the top – even if it’s causing insolvency for a district.

      Perhaps it’s a reasonable approach if one compares wages to other professions, as well. (Including those which might have more demanding work hours).

      1. Bill Marshall

        (Including those which might have more demanding work hours).

        Examples? Would also think training, credentials, work stress would come into play…

        1. Ron Oertel

          Perhaps every other job?  Including those which require longer hours, don’t have summer vacations, winter vacations, co-workers (at the same, or higher level) and bosses in the same room as you?  And, don’t offer much in the way of benefits?

          Pretty sure there’s “plenty” of those.

          Again, if one wants to determine if a salary increase is “warranted”, the first place to start is with a disclosure and analysis of current compensation. And, not with some vague b.s. about teachers being on a mission from god – compared to anyone else.

          It appears to be a highly unusual situation, to directly ask voters for a “raise”.  Does this even have much precedence, in California?  This is usually negotiated internally within an organization.

          And again, I’d ask how (exactly) the raise is to be “distributed” (e.g., lower-levels vs. upper-levels of the scale).

        2. Bill Marshall

          Like, accountants?

          Like it or not, the teacher/staff unions have agreed on the tenets of a future contract… they are looking for funding…

          No, the public is not being asked for a specific compensation package.

          It appears to be a highly unusual situation, to directly ask voters for a “raise”.  Does this even have much precedence, in California?  This is usually negotiated internally within an organization.

          Only if one twists facts…

          And, not with some vague b.s. about teachers being on a mission from god – compared to anyone else.

          That is true, as far as it goes… but am sensing some compensation envy, here… we all make choices as to career paths and employers…

          I’d ask how (exactly) the raise is to be “distributed” (e.g., lower-levels vs. upper-levels of the scale).

          Fair question… not on ballot, subject to employee/employer negotiations… the employees don’t even seem unified on that… depending whether they are on the lower or higher ranges… will bet the unions will struggle with that!

          And it is not just about salary, it’s also about compensation… an across the board increase in med/dental benefits (which I believe is appropriate), will $/$ benefit the lower paid folk more.  I have no problem with that.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Like, accountants?

          No.  Like all other professions.

          Like it or not, the teacher/staff unions have agreed on the tenets of a future contract… they are looking for funding…

          You’re stating that they’ve “agreed to a contract” without having funding in place?  Really?

          No, the public is not being asked for a specific compensation package.

          Not what I said.
          Ron:  “It appears to be a highly unusual situation, to directly ask voters for a “raise”.  Does this even have much precedence, in California?  This is usually negotiated internally within an organization.”

          Bill:  “Only if one twists facts…”

          If you’re claiming this, I’d suggest you provide examples, where a school district has requested a “raise” directly from voters.

          Ron:  “And, not with some vague b.s. about teachers being on a mission from god – compared to anyone else.”
          Bill:  “That is true, as far as it goes… but am sensing some compensation envy, here… we all make choices as to career paths and employers…”

          Your senses are misleading you.  However, I suspect that an “average voter” might compare the compensation to what they’re familiar with, in their own careers.  Some might view teacher compensation as “low”, while others might view it as “high”.

          Ron:  I’d ask how (exactly) the raise is to be “distributed” (e.g., lower-levels vs. upper-levels of the scale).
          Fair question… not on ballot, subject to employee/employer negotiations… the employees don’t even seem unified on that… depending whether they are on the lower or higher ranges… will bet the unions will struggle with that!

          I agree, and would add that I don’t fully trust that it would be distributed to where the greatest need is.

          And it is not just about salary, it’s also about compensation… an across the board increase in med/dental benefits (which I believe is appropriate), will $/$ benefit the lower paid folk more.  I have no problem with that.

          Neither do I, except for the “unfunded liabilities” that it would create.

        4. Ron Oertel

          (Note that some of the formatting got messed up in the comment above, but I was once-again “locked out” of the Vanguard’s editing feature – before the normally-allowed time limit expired.)

           

  9. Ron Oertel

    And frankly, perhaps the biggest problem is the completely unreasonable manner in which parcel taxes are applied (e.g., the same for a multi-family apartment building, vs. a single-family dwelling or small business).

    And then there’s the exemptions, as noted by Bill and others.

    Regardless of the reason, these are the kinds of things that actually endanger the proposal. Voters may be inclined to reject a proposal, based upon “perceived fairness” alone.

    1. Bill Marshall

      To be clear, I see problems with both sides of the arguments… and some merit, also…

      The voters in this household have not decided… we may vote in favor, “warts and all”, we may vote against… but we will vote.

      In the arguments, and rebuttals, both sides are inflicting self-injuries, as to persuasion… time for more facts, honesty, less rhetoric, fewer ‘talking points’… if they continue the way they are proceeding, that’ll probably be an automatic “no”.  Except for the “schools (it’s for the kids!) right or wrong” or the “no new taxes” folk, who have already decided.

      My opinion.

    2. Bill Marshall

      perhaps the biggest problem is the completely unreasonable manner in which parcel taxes are applied (e.g., the same for a multi-family apartment building, vs. a single-family dwelling or small business).

      That appears, from many disparate sources to be out of play, to change things… right or wrong, ad valorum is not in play, nor acreage, size of building, per capita, etc.  The game may have been rigged, but pretty much the only game in town.  It is what it is.

      Our votes will be based on how he money will actually be used, and whether it meets the stated goals, and ‘equity’ as to disbursement.  We’d tend to support contributions across the board for med/dental (but no cash-outs)… we’d tend to support more for salary increases for the lower end folk, and little/nothing for the higher end folk (particularly Senior Admin).  Teaching, direct support, maintenance folk would be our priorities.

      It is unfortunate that the Board chose to pander to folk in order to get votes, but who can claim exemptions.

      1. Ron Glick

        There is a simple way to dole out the money that helps reduce inequality in salary. If everyone gets the same amount instead of a raise based on a percentage of salary then the people at the bottom get a bigger percentage of current pay than the people at the top. This brings up the bottom more than the top.

        1. Bill Marshall

          That’s a good reason to prioritize med/dental benefit contributions for the employee… and keep up with increases in rates.

          Unions, dominated by those higher on the salary table, resist equal $ treatments… but I agree with your suggestion…

        2. Ron Oertel

          Seems to me that increasing the percentage of medical/dental benefits that’s paid by the district can lead to further risk, for the district. (Unlike a salary increase, which is a “known” amount.)

          Increasing health care costs has created much of the problem with unfunded liabilities for cities, counties throughout the state, as well as the state itself.  (Which includes benefits for retirees.)

          It also seems to me that the ultimate use/distribution of the possible increase has not been spelled out in any way, shape, or form.  And, I assume there’s no plans to do so, before asking voters to approve it.

          I guess the district is essentially saying “trust us”, AFTER giving us the money.

        3. Ron Oertel

          (To clarify, I’m referring to the lack of specificity regarding use/distribution of the funds within the parameters of the ballot language.)

          And in reviewing the summary, I hadn’t previously realized that the amount WOULD be adjusted annually, for inflation.

        4. Hiram Jackson

          “And in reviewing the summary, I hadn’t previously realized that the amount WOULD be adjusted annually, for inflation.”

          That’s been a part of all local school parcel taxes in recent years.

  10. Ron Glick

    “… traditional over 30+ years… CC bows to DJUSD… one of the reasons, is historically, many DJUSD Board members ran for, and gained CC seats… maybe other reasons…”

    Not one of the current CC members served on the school board. However, all five either graduated from DJUSD or have children who have attended DJUSD.

  11. Ron Glick

    “Seems to me that increasing the percentage of medical/dental benefits that’s paid by the district can lead to further risk, for the district. (Unlike a salary increase, which is a “known” amount.)”

    Medical isn’t done by percentage its done as a lump sum depending on number of people covered:

    employee,

    employee + 1

    family

    The district does this with pre-tax dollars so there is a bang for the buck effect but on the other side are people who get heath insurance through a spouse who wouldn’t get any benefit from spending the money on increased health benefits.

    1. Bill Marshall

      You are correct, but in some cases, depending on the employer(s) there can be ‘work arounds’ where everyone is whole.  We experienced that.  But not always, and may require policy changes as to making that work.  The default is as you stated.

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