Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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Special District

Fremont Union High School District
Measure M Parcel Tax - 2/3 Approval Required

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To renew its existing parcel tax without increasing the annual levy, support strong academic programs in reading, writing, math, science, technology and engineering, and prepare students for college and careers by attracting and retaining high quality teachers and staff, shall the Fremont Union High School District measure to renew its existing $98 parcel tax providing approximately $5 million annually for 8 years, with citizen oversight, exemptions for seniors, and all funds benefitting local high schools be adopted?

 

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A "yes" vote is a vote to approve a special tax of $98 per parcel within the District for eight (8) years beginning on July l, 2022.

NO vote means

A "no" vote is a vote to not approve the tax.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

James R. Williams, County Counsel

 

The Fremont Union High School District ("District") Board of Trustees ("Board'') has placed Measure M on the ballot to authorize an annual parcel tax of $98 per parcel, beginning on July l, 2022, for eight years. According to the Measure, the parcel tax will raise approximately $5 million per year. This parcel tax would extend, without increasing, the existing 2014 Measure J annual parcel tax, which expires on June 30, 2022.

 

The stated purposes of the parcel tax are to protect teaching positions; avoid increased class sizes; ensure that the District's high school students are prepared to compete for college and university admission; provide support for programs in reading, writing, social studies, science, technology, math, and engineering; and provide other financial support to maintain and support the District's academic programs, including the purchase of instructional equipment, materials, and supplies.

 

The tax applies to any parcel of land that lies wholly or partially within the District that receives a separate tax bill for property taxes from the Santa Clara County Tax Collector.

 

A parcel tax exemption may be obtained by the owner and occupant of a single-family residence who is: 65 years of age or older on or before June 30 of the fiscal year immediately preceding the year in which the tax would apply, (2) receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, or (3) receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250% of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Parcel owners must submit exemption applications to the District on or before June 15 of any year. Exemptions granted by the District will remain in effect until the parcel owner becomes ineligible.

 The District is required by law to institute additional accountability measures for the tax proceeds. These measures include: (1) using the tax proceeds only for the specific purposes described in the Measure; (2) depositing the tax proceeds into a separate account from other District funds; and (3) providing an annual written report to the Board detailing the amount of funds collected and expended and the status of any project(s) authorized to be funded by parcel tax proceeds. In addition to these requirements, if the parcel tax is approved, the District will establish a Citizens' Oversight Committee to oversee the expenditure of parcel tax revenues.

 


 

If at least two-thirds of all voters casting ballots in the District vote "yes" on Measure M, the tax will be   approved.

 


 

 

 


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Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

 

A Yes vote on Measure M will renew a local school parcel tax first approved by voters in 2004. Measure M will continue to provide high schools in the Fremont Union High School District, Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista, with stable, reliable funds.

 

 

 

Measure M supports our local high schools which are known for rigorous academic programs, outstanding graduation rates and test scores, and preparing students for college and careers.

 

Without Measure M, the District will lose more than $5 million per year, making it more difficult to attract great teachers and provide a variety of course options for our students.

 

 

 

Measure M funds will be used to:

 

 

 

·         Maintain strong academic programs in science, math, social studies, technology and engineering

 

·         Prepare students for college and careers

 

·         Support the District's academic programs, including the purchase of instructional equipment, materials and supplies

 

·         Attract and retain high quality teachers and staff

 

 

 

Measure M will not increase taxes. Measure M also offers senior citizens an exemption and the District will continue to grant all current exemptions.

 

 

 

Great teachers are at the center of student achievement, but our high schools have been losing some of our best teachers because they cannot afford to live in our community. Passage of Measure M will help keep teacher and support staff salaries competitive to prevent our top quality teachers and staff from leaving.

 

 

 

All revenue from Measure M will be spent here on our local schools and cannot be taken away by the State. A citizens' oversight committee and annual audits will ensure all funds are spent as promised, and no funds may be spent on administrator salaries.

 

 

 

Please join us and vote Yes on Measure M.

 

 

 

Arguments AGAINST

 

                 This is not the time for "taxation as usual".

 

Many people have lost their jobs. Others are working reduced hours. Many businesses have reduced revenue, and some have been forced to shut down entirely. Some may never re-open.

 

Individuals, households, and businesses have all had to adapt to this crisis, by cutting costs and being more careful about spending their limited funds on only the most essential activities.

 

School boards need to do their share, by focusing their efforts on controlling costs and by prioritizing only the most essential things.

 

This is not the time for "taxation as usual".

 

There is a reason that parcel taxes usually are approved for a limited number of years. It is so that voters will have a chance to reconsider them if the situation has

 

changed.

 

This is such a time. The situation has changed.

 

The budget assumptions behind proposals like this are no longer valid. Even after schools can open, many parents will be considering home schooling or online learning as a permanent option, and  many traditional school-associated activities just do not make sense now.

 

With fewer students doing fewer things, asking for approval of a tax like this is the wrong approach.

 

This is not the time for "taxation as usual" .

 

This is the time to demand that the school board take a fresh look at their budget and come up with a new plan, not to expect approval of an obsolete plan.

 

Vote NO on Measure M.

www.SVTaxpayers.org

 

More information

Videos (1)

— October 12, 2020 League of Women Voters of Cupertino-Sunnyvale
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