KENTFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
MEASURE B: To provide stable funding the State cannot take away, ensure excellence in core academic programs, attract and retain highly-qualified teachers, maintain small class sizes, and enhance enrichment programs, shall the Kentfield School District be authorized to levy $1600 per parcel annually for ten (10) years, with a 5% annual increase, provide a senior citizens’ exemption, and have all funds stay local?
COUNTY COUNSEL’S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS OF MEASURE B
KENTFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
PARCEL TAX ELECTION
This measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Trustees of the Kentfield School District to authorize a special tax to raise money for the cost of public education not to exceed $1,600 per parcel of taxable real property with an annual 5% rate increase, and continuing for a period of ten years.
If this measure is approved by two-thirds of the vote, the Kentfield School District would be authorized to levy the special tax on any unit of real property in the District that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem taxes. A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Marin County
Tax Collector. Any parcel that is classified by the Marin County Assessor as a timeshare property, for the purposes of levying and collecting the special tax against such parcels, shall be set in amount proportional to the percentage of the year owned by said timeshare, to the extent permitted by law. All property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from the qualified special tax. An exemption will be available to persons who are 65 years or older and own and occupy as a principal residence a parcel and apply to the District for such exemption under procedures established by the District or otherwise as required by law or by the Marin County Tax Collector.
The proceeds of the special tax shall be applied only for the purposes set forth in the measure.
s/STEVEN M. WOODSIDE
By s/Sheila Lichtblau, Deputy County Counsel
ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE B
Bacich Elementary and Kent Middle are exemplary schools, both having been officially recognized with Gold Ribbon Awards by the California Department of Education. Measure B will enable the Kentfield School District to continue to ensure excellence in core academic programs, attract and retain highly qualified teachers, maintain small class sizes, and enhance enrichment programs.
For over 100 years, Kentfield schools have ignited the educational curiosity of students, successfully preparing them to excel in higher education and contribute to our community. The reputation of our schools attracts families to the District, resulting in steadily increasing property values and retention of that value during downtimes like the recent recession.
Measure B is vital to our schools and the health of our community. The Kentfield/Greenbrae community has supported a District parcel tax since 1987. The parcel tax is a crucial, reliable funding stream which represents 25% of the District’s budget. Combined with prudent spending and generous contributions from parents and the community, the parcel tax enables our schools to achieve the excellence we have come to expect. Loss of this funding stream – up to $5 million annually – would have a devastating effect on our program.
To conform with recent court rulings, Measure B will amend the structure of its renewed parcel tax by charging all parcels a uniform rate instead of the tiered rates for residential and commercial rates under the current 2008 parcel tax. The renewal will continue 5% annual increases to address inflation, projected enrollment growth, and rising costs. Measure B provides an exemption for property owners 65 and older by applying to the District.
The excellent education provided by our schools has been a cornerstone for generations of Kentfield and Greenbrae students and families. Please join us in extending that foundation of excellence by voting yes on Measure B.
s/ADAM BAUMGARTEN, M.D.
Lt. Governor of California
s/MARY C. GILARDI
s/ASHLEY FARMER PAFF
Trustee, Kentfield School District
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE B
Proponents of Measure B were not clear on what their proposal really means.
A “YES” vote for Measure B means you will pay $1600 in parcel taxes.
A “NO” vote for Measure B means you will pay $1089 in parcel taxes.
Proponents’ assertion that $5 Million in funding will be lost if this measure doesn’t pass are misleading. The current parcel tax does not expire until June of 2019. There will be an election to decide whether to renew it before then.
The School district faces no dire fiscal crisis. That the district must raise this tax by a whopping 46% to comply with a three year-old court decision is absurd.
Mill Valley School District is seeking a mere $115 increase in its parcel tax this fall, and they serve twice as many students.
Don’t fall for scare tactics - there will be no layoffs or cuts in vital programs if this measure doesn’t pass.
Most of this tax increase will fall on the backs of younger often first-time homeowners who are already dealing with Marin’s high cost of living. There are twelve parcel taxes they pay in addition to the base tax. These taxes account for more than $3,000 of the overall tax bill. Is it in our interest to tax them out of this county?
Tell the School Board to ask for only what it NEEDS, not what it WANTS.
Vote “NO” on B. Reject greed.
ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE B
You have read the reasons for voting in favor of Measure B.
Now look at your property tax bill. This year you will pay $1089 for the Kentfield School District (KSD), which includes the annual 5% increase. This ranks among the highest among Marin School districts, and does not include $300/year in school bonds.
In the early 2000’s, California’s schools were underfunded due to the state’s fiscal crisis. Marin’s school districts all had a modest parcel tax to make up the difference. Kentfield School District’s (KSD) tax was just a third of what it is now, and student test scores ranked in the state’s top 10%, as they are today.
With the state on sound financial ground and a substantially larger parcel tax, KSD’s request for a 46% increase is excessive.
Claims of poverty do not have the ring of truth. They do NOT need more money to maintain excellence. There is every reason to expect that much of this extra money will go towards administrators' salaries and pensions.
Enrichment programs and other extras ought to be paid for by students’ parents through the Kentfield Schools Foundation, not by taxpayers.
The tax is unfair - those over 65 are exempt by state law and renters pay nothing. The hedge fund manager in Kent Woodlands pays no more than the nurse living in a one-bedroom Condo in Greenbrae.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for our health care providers, public safety employees and other working folks to afford to live in this county. For many of them paying another $500+ a year may be the breaking point.
Vote "NO" on B.
REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE B
Measure B is vital to the health of our schools and community. Our excellent school system not only provides an exemplary education for district residents with children, it increases property values for all local taxpayers. Don’t be misled by the argument against Measure B. Here are the real facts:
Fact: Measure B will renew the parcel tax that District property owners have already been paying since 1987! This is a vital source to our budget and allows us to continue to have low class sizes and superior programs. This will not go towards administrators’ salaries and pensions. Without our parcel tax, we will have to make $5 million in cuts.
Fact: Measure B doesn’t just enrich our programs; it enriches our community. Our schools are some of the top-rated, not only in the County, but in the State. Measure B will ensure Kentfield and Greenbrae stay that way.
Fact: Funds from Measure B will ensure that teachers are well trained and using the most effective techniques for teaching, as well as integrating improved technology. Without Measure B, the educational experience provided to our children will suffer.
Measure B will improve the quality of education to local children by protecting our reading, math, science, art and music programs, and by having reduced class sizes. Measure B gives our children the best chance to succeed.
Join the broad coalition of support for the Kentfield School District and vote based on the facts. Vote YES on Measure B.
s/ADAM BAUMGARTEN, M.D.
Lt. Governor of California
s/MARY C. GILARDI
s/ASHLEY FARMER PAFF
Trustee, Kentfield School District
FULL TEXT OF MEASURE B
RESOLUTION NO. 6
BOARD OF TRUSTEES KENTFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
RESOLUTION ORDERING A SPECIAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2016 FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUBMITTING TO THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF THE DISTRICT THE QUESTION OF LEVYING A QUALIFIED SPECIAL TAX UPON EACH PARCEL IN THE DISTRICT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES AND ESTABLISHING THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE ELECTION ORDER
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of the Kentfield School District (the “District”) has determined that the present revenues of the District are inadequate to fund the cost of education within said District, and
WHEREAS, Section 4 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution and California Government Code Sections 50079 et seq. and 50075 et seq. (the “Law”) authorize a school district, upon approval by two-thirds (2/3) of the electorate voting on the measure, to levy a qualified special tax for specified purposes following notice and a public hearing; and
WHEREAS, the Board has on this date held a public hearing which was duly noticed where all interested persons have been heard on the matter of holding an election in the District on the matter of levying a qualified special tax on each parcel in the District; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees desires at this time to order an election to be held on November 8, 2016 in the District for the purpose of submitting to the voters in the District the matter of levying a qualified special tax on each parcel in the District for educational purposes and to designate the specifications thereof, pursuant to Education Code Section 5320 et seq.; and
NOW, THEREFORE, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE KENTFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT DOES HEREBY RESOLVE, ORDER AND DETERMINE AS FOLLOWS:
Section l. Call for Election. The Board hereby orders an election to be called and consolidated with any and all elections also called to be held on November 8, 2016 insofar as said elections are held in the same territory or in territory that is in part the same as the territory of the District and requests the Board of Supervisors of the County of Marin to order such consolidation under Elections Code Section 10400. The Board submits to the electors of the District the question of whether a qualified special tax shall be levied and collected in the District for the purposes as set forth more fully in the ballot proposition approved below. This Resolution constitutes the order of the District to call such election and shall constitute the “specifications of the election order” pursuant to Education Code Section 5322.
Section 2. Election Date. The date of the election shall be November 8, 2016, and the election shall be held solely within the boundaries of the District.
Section 3. Purpose of Election; Ballot Proposition. The purpose of the election shall be for the voters in the District to vote on a proposition, a full copy of which is attached hereto and marked Exhibit “A”, containing the question of whether the District shall levy a qualified special tax in the District for the purpose stated therein, together with the accountability requirements of Government Code Section 50075.1. As required by Elections Code Section 13247, the abbreviated form of the measure to appear on the ballot is attached hereto and marked as Exhibit “B”. The Superintendent or her designee is hereby authorized and directed to make any changes to the text of the proposition as required to conform to any requirements of the Law or the Marin County Registrar of Voters.
Section 4. Authority for Election. The authority for ordering the election is contained in Section 4 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution and California Government Code Sections 50079 et seq. and 50075 et seq. The authority for the specification of this election order is contained in Section 5322 of the Education Code.
Section 5. Type of Tax Rate, and Method of Collection. Said qualified special tax shall be levied in an amount not to exceed $1600 per parcel for ten (10) years, with an annual 5% rate increase, assessed against each parcel of taxable land in the District. A parcel shall be defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Marin County Tax Collector. However, with respect to any parcel that is classified by the Marin County Assessor as a timeshare property, for the purposes of levying and collecting the special tax against such parcels, to the extent permitted by law such levy shall be set in amount proportional to the percentage of the year owned by said timeshare. All property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from the qualified special tax. An exemption shall be available to persons who are 65 years or older and own and occupy as a principal residence a parcel and apply to the District for such exemption under procedures established by the District or otherwise as required by law or by the Marin County Tax Collector.
Section 6. Accountability Requirements. The members of the Board, the Superintendent and officers of the District are hereby requested and directed, individually and collectively, to provide accountability measures pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.1 that include, but are not limited, to the following: (a) a statement indicating the specific purposes of the special tax, (b) a requirement that the proceeds be applied only to the specific purposes identified, (c) the creation of an account into which the proceeds shall be deposited, and (d) an annual report pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.3 as provided in Section 7 hereof. Such accountability measures shall be set forth on the ballot in the form of Exhibit A attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.
Section 7. Annual Report. Pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.3, the Board directs the chief fiscal officer of the District to file a report with the Board each year containing (a) the amount of funds collected and expended and (b) the status of any project required or authorized to be funded as identified in Section 6(a) hereof.
Section 8. Delivery of this Resolution. The Clerk of the Board is hereby directed to send a copy of this Resolution to the Marin County Superintendent of Schools, the Marin County Registrar of Voters (the “County Registrar”) and the Marin County Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
Section 9. Consolidation of Election. The County Registrar and the Marin County Board of Supervisors are hereby requested to consolidate the election ordered hereby with any and all other elections to be held on November 8, 2016, within the District.
Section 10. Ballot Arguments. Any and all members of this Board are hereby authorized to act as an author of any ballot argument prepared in connection with the election, including a rebuttal argument. The Superintendent, President of the Board, or their designees, are hereby authorized to execute any document and to perform all acts necessary to place the measure on the ballot.
Section 11. Notice of Election. That the Marin County Registrar of Voters is hereby requested to prepare a formal Notice of Qualified Special Tax Election in time, form and manner as required by law. The suggested form of notice of the election is as follows:
KENTFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
SPECIAL ELECTION NOTICE
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to the qualified electors of the Kentfield School District (the "District") of Marin County, that in accordance with law, an election will be held on Tuesday, the 8th of November, 2016 in the District, at which election there will be submitted the question of levying a qualified special tax of $1600 annually for (ten) 10 years, with an annual 5% rate increase, on each nonexempt parcel of land in the District for the purpose of raising money for the cost of public education, and exempting seniors.
Section 12. Printing. The Marin County Elections Department is requested to print the attached measure text exactly as filed in the Voter’s Information Pamphlet section of the Sample Ballot for the November 8, 2016 election. Cost of printing and distribution of the measure text will be paid for by the District.
Section 13. Reimbursement for Services Performed. The Kentfield School District agrees to reimburse Marin County Registrar of Voters for services performed when work is completed on the election upon presentation of a bill.
Section 14. Election Pursuant to Law. In all particulars not recited in this Resolution, said election shall be held and conducted as provided by law for holding school district elections in the District.
Section 15. Certification by Clerk of the Board. That the Clerk of the Board shall certify to the passage and adoption of and shall make minutes of the passage and adoption therefore in the records of the proceedings of the Board of Trustees of the District, in the minutes of the meeting at which the same is passed and adopted.
ADOPTED, SIGNED AND APPROVED this 31st day of May, 2016.
Board of Trustees of the Kentfield School District
s/ASHLEY F. PAFF
Clerk of the Board of Trustees
STATE OF CALIFORNIA)
COUNTY OF MARIN )
I, Ashley F. Paff, Clerk of the Board of Trustees of the Kentfield School District, do hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted by the Board of Trustees of said District at a regular meeting thereof held on the 31st day of May, 2016, and that it was so adopted by the following vote:
s/ASHLEY F. PAFF
Clerk of the Board of Trustees of the Kentfield School District
s/ ELIZABETH SCHOTT
Superintendent Kentfield School District
FULL TEXT OF MEASURE
To ensure excellence in Kentfield’s public education by supporting superior core programs, attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers, maintaining small class sizes, and enhancing enrichment programs, shall the Kentfield School District be authorized to levy $1600 per parcel annually for ten (10) years, increase rates by 5% per year, provide a senior citizens' exemption, implement an annual financial audit, and have all funds stay local?
STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
To provide local revenue that cannot be taken by the State and to aid in maintaining public education in our schools, the Kentfield School District proposes to levy and collect a qualified special parcel tax as described below (see “SPECIAL TAX AND PROCEDURES” below), and to implement accountability measures in connection with the special parcel tax to provide oversight and accountability to ensure that funds are used to:
- Ensure excellence in core academic programs;
- Attract and retain highly qualified teachers;
- Maintain small class sizes; and
- Enhance enrichment programs.
The Board of Trustees will utilize parcel tax proceeds for the purposes listed above, unless the Board of Trustees determines in any given year that changes in student population, fiscal constraints, or other changes in state or federal funding make doing so unfeasible or inadvisable. In any event, the Board of Trustees will not fund any program or reduction other than those listed above from the proceeds of the special parcel taxes.
SPECIAL TAX AND PROCEDURES
Special Tax Generally. Subject to two-thirds approval of the voters, the special tax of $1600 per parcel, with an annual 5% rate increase, shall be levied and collected for a period of ten (10) years, commencing July 1, 2019, and be collected by the Marin County Tax Collector at the same time as and along with, and shall be subject to the same penalties as general ad valorem taxes collected by said tax collector.
Definition of Parcel. A parcel is defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Marin County Tax Collector. However, with respect to any parcel that is classified by the Marin County Assessor as a timeshare property, for the purposes of levying and collecting the special tax against such parcels, to the extent permitted by law such levy shall be set in amount proportional to the percentage of the year owned by said timeshare.
Exemptions. The following exemptions shall apply to the levy of the qualified special tax.
- Otherwise Exempt Property. All property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes shall also be exempt from the parcel tax.
- Senior Citizen Exemption. An exemption shall be available to persons who are 65 years or older and own and occupy as a principal residence a parcel subject to the parcel tax.
Exclusive Procedures. The procedures described herein with respect to the levy and collection of the special tax and exemptions, and any additional procedures established by the Board of Trustees, shall be the exclusive claims procedure for claimants seeking an exemption, refund, reduction, or re-computation of the special parcel tax. Whether any particular claim is to be resolved by the District or by the County shall be determined by the District, in coordination with the County as necessary. The District’s Board of Trustees shall adopt such additional or supplemental procedures as it deems necessary or convenient for the administration of the qualified special tax.
Legally Required Accountability Measures. In accordance with the requirements of California Government Code sections 50075.1 and 50075.3, the following accountability measures, among others, shall apply to the special parcel taxes levied in accordance with this Measure: (a) the specific purposes of the special parcel tax shall be only those purposes identified above; (b) the proceeds of the special parcel tax shall be applied only to those specific purposes identified above; (c) a separate, special account shall be created into which the proceeds of the special parcel taxes must be deposited; and (d) an annual written report shall be made by the District’s chief fiscal officer to the Board of Trustees of the District showing (i) the amount of funds collected and expended from the proceeds of the special taxes and (ii) the status of any projects, programs, or purposes required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the special taxes, as identified above.
PROTECTION OF FUNDING
Current law forbids any decrease in State or Federal funding to the District because of the District’s adoption of a parcel tax. However, if any such funds are reduced because of the adoption of this parcel tax, then the amount of the special parcel taxes will be reduced annually as necessary in order to restore such State or Federal funding.
The Board of Trustees of the District hereby declares, and the voters by approving this measure concur, that every section, paragraph, sentence and clause of this measure has independent value, and the Board of Trustees and the voters would have adopted each provision hereof regardless of every other provision hereof. Upon approval of this measure by the voters, should any part be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.
To provide stable funding the State cannot take away, ensure excellence in core academic programs, attract and retain highly-qualified teachers, maintain small class sizes, and enhance enrichment programs, shall the Kentfield School District be authorized to levy $1600 per parcel annually for ten (10) years, with a 5% annual increase, provide a senior citizens' exemption, and have all funds stay local?