Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Special District

West Sonoma County Union High School District
Measure B Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

16,897 votes yes (68.91%)

7,623 votes no (31.09%)

100% of precincts reporting (84/84).

25,264 ballots counted.

To renew and provide stable funding that the State cannot take away; maintain and improve the schools' woodshop, culinary, media and other career technical education programs; keep school libraries open; and maintain/improve the schools' art, music and drama programs; shall the West Sonoma County Union High School District measure to levy $79.00 per parcel annually for eight years be adopted, raising $1,810,000 annually, have no funds for administrators' salaries, provide a senior citizens' exemption and have all funds stay local?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

YES vote means

A “yes” vote on Measure B will authorize the District to levy the education parcel tax.

NO vote means

A “no” vote on Measure B will not authorize the District to levy the taxes.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

County Counsel’s Impartial Analysis of Measure B

California law authorizes school districts to levy a special tax provided two-thirds of voters voting on the measure approve the tax. The West Sonoma County Union High School District Board of Trustees has placed on the ballot the question of whether the District should levy an education parcel tax for the specific purposes stated in the full text of Measure B.

Measure B proposes a special tax of $79 annually per parcel for each parcel of land within the District’s boundaries. The tax would begin on July 1, 2020, and would remain in effect for eight (8) years. The tax would be collected by the Sonoma County Tax Collector at the same time as and in the same manner as regular ad valorem property taxes, and would be subject to the same penalties and interest that apply to ad valorem property taxes if not paid when due.

The proposed tax would apply to each parcel of taxable land in the District, subject to the exemptions described below. Measure B defines “parcel” as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Sonoma County Tax Collector. The tax would not apply to parcels that are exempt from property taxes. Additionally, upon application to the District, an exemption shall be available to parcels owned by: (i) one or more persons who are aged 65 years or older and own and occupy the parcel as a principal residence; or (ii) persons who receive Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, and own and occupy the parcel as a principal residence. Further, contiguous parcels held under the same name and ownership will only be charged for one parcel provided the main parcel is the owner’s primary residence.

If approved by voters, the proceeds of the tax would be deposited in a special fund and could only be used for the purposes set forth in the full text of Measure B. The stated purposes of the special parcel tax are maintaining and improving District woodshop, culinary, media, and other career technical education programs; keeping school libraries open; maintaining and improving District art, music, and drama programs; maintaining small class sizes; and maintaining and improving student counseling services, college prep programs, and technology and science equipment.

If adopted, Measure B includes “Accountability Safeguards” that require the Board of Trustees to maintain tax proceeds in a separate account and annually conduct independent financial and performance audits. Measure B further requires the District’s Chief Fiscal Officer to provide an annual report to the Board of Trustees detailing the amount of revenue collected and expended under the special tax and the status of any project funded by said tax revenue.

If approved, Measure B would raise approximately $1,810,000 annually.

A “yes” vote on Measure B will authorize the District to levy the education parcel tax. A “no” vote on Measure B will not authorize the District to levy the taxes.

 

BRUCE D. GOLDSTEIN
County Counsel

By: s/ Robert Pittman
Assistant County Counsel

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

Everyone knows the importance and value of having quality schools. From preparing for college and career to developing productive citizens, quality schools make a difference. However, because the state continues to reduce funding for public education, we need to do more to protect and maintain the quality of education. Since 1993, the West Sonoma County Union High School District has relied on a local parcel tax to provide a significant and essential part of its budget. Funds raised by this local tax have been used to support instructional opportunities, including counseling and library services, music, fine arts, drama, science equipment, and technology.

Our students need your Yes vote on Measure B! If successful, Measure B will continue to provide a stable source of local funds to offset the uncertainty of funding provided by the state. With the support provided by funds from Measure B, our students can become well-rounded, contributing members of the community. Without it, their educational experience will be compromised.

If passed, Measure B will keep school libraries open; maintain and improve shop, art, music, drama, culinary, technology, and other career education classes; maintain and improve college prep courses; give appropriate raises to teachers and staff; and maintain small class sizes.

Measure B makes financial sense and protects taxpayers. By law, all parcel tax funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State. Measure B provides for an exemption for any parcel owned and occupied by a person 65 years of age or older. Also, spending will be reviewed annually by an independent auditor and reported to the public.

Measure B maintains academic programs, helps improve the education of local students, and maintains the quality of our community. That’s something we can all support. Please join us and vote Yes on Measure B!

s/ Jim Corbett 
Musician / “Mr. Music”

s/ Loretta Castleberry
Business Owner / Educator

s/ Diane Landry
School Board President

s/ John Balletto
Founder, Balletto Vineyards

s/ James S. Walton, Ph.D.
Engineer / Scientist / Entrepreneur

 

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

No argument was submitted against Measure B

— Source: Sonoma County Registrar of Voters
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