ABBREVIATED TEXT OF MEASURE
This summarizes, in 75 words or less, the full text of the proposition below.
“To maintain excellent schools; attract and retain exceptional teachers and counselors; protect science, arts, language, library services, and reading and math support; limit class sizes; keep schools safe; and keep classroom technology and materials up-to-date; shall Albany Unified School District adopt a measure renewing an expiring $318 annual parcel tax, adding $130 annually, for six years, with senior exemptions, cost of living adjustments, and independent audits, raising $2,200,000 annually, with all funds staying local to benefit Albany students?”
Tax – Yes Tax – No
FULL BALLOT TEXT ALBANY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
PRESERVE FUNDING FOR ALBANY SCHOOLS ACT OF 2020
This Measure may be known and referred to as
the Albany Unified School District Preserve Funding for Albany Schools Act of 2020.
A superior and comprehensive education program delivers many long-lasting benefits and advantages to all the children and residents of a community.
Changes in the State’s formula for funding local school districts have led to ongoing deficits for Albany Unified School District, despite significant restoration of state funding for public education since the recession.
In recent years, the State has failed to provide sufficient funding to local districts for special education services and for required pension contributions, such that District revenues have not kept pace with the escalating costs.
The direct impact of these State cuts on local Albany schools has meant eliminating teaching positions and student support staff.
Albany school excellence depends on the District’s ability to provide competitive compensation in order to attract and retain excellent teachers, particularly in light of high housing costs in the Bay Area and a statewide teacher shortage.
If the $1,500,000 currently raised by Measure LL is not renewed, the District would need to eliminate approximately 13 full-time staff positions, significantly affecting its ability to deliver an excellent education to all students.
The District cannot rely upon the State to meet its needs. Without continuing to supplement State funding at the local level, Albany’s school-age children will be negatively impacted by inadequate school funding.
An extension of Measure LL, approved by Albany voters in 2014, and which expires on June 30, 2021, is necessary to protect the quality of education that Albany provides.
Upon approval of two-thirds of those voting on this Measure, the District shall be authorized to levy a qualified special tax (education parcel tax) for six years, beginning on July 1, 2021, at the rate of $318 plus $130 per year for a total of $448 per year on each parcel of taxable real property located wholly or partly within the District, raising a total of $2.2 million per year.
To account for the impact of inflation on the cost of delivering the classroom programs and student services supported by the education parcel tax, the tax rate shall be adjusted annually as the Board of Education shall determine, commencing July 1, 2022, by no more than the average of the reported monthly or other periodic percentage changes in the Consumer Price Index-All Urban Consumers, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area (Series CUURA422SA0) over the prior twelve months, as of April 1 of each year, as published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, rounded to the nearest dollar. If, in any given year, that index is not available, then the rate will be adjusted based on the changes in the Consumer Price Index – All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
During its term, the education parcel tax authorized by this Measure shall be in addition to any other existing parcel taxes or another tax enacted on the same date.
Monies raised under this Preserve Funding for Albany Schools Act shall be authorized to be used to maintain programs and services at risk as a direct result of insufficient State funding for schools, including but not limited to:
• attract and retain exceptional teachers and counselors;
• protect funding for science, art, music, language, theater, library services, and reading and math support;
• limit class sizes;
• keep schools safe;
• keep classroom technology and materials up-to-date;
and restore and preserve other academic programs, instructional equipment, materials and supplies from State budget cuts, to the extent of available funds.
EXEMPTIONS AND REBATES
The exemptions and rebates provided for below shall be available pursuant to procedures to be prescribed by the Board of Education or otherwise as required by law or by the Alameda County Tax Collector.
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A. Senior Exemption. An exemption from payment of the special tax may be granted on any parcel owned by one or more persons 65 years of age or over as of July 1 of each tax year, who occupies the parcel as a principal residence, upon application for exemption (“Senior CitizenExemption”). TheDistrictshallannuallyprovidetotheAlamedaCountyTreasurer-Tax Collector or other appropriate County tax official a list of parcels that the District has approved for a Senior Citizen Exemption. Senior citizens with a current valid exemption from the District’s education parcel taxes shall continue to be exempt from this new tax and not be required to reapply.
B. Supplemental Security Income Exemption. An exemption from payment of the special tax may be granted on any parcel owned by one or more persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) for disability, regardless of age, who occupies the parcel as a principal residence, upon proper application for exemption (“SSI Recipient Exemption”). The District shall annually provide to the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector or other appropriate County tax official a list of parcels that the District has approved for a SSI Recipient Exemption.
C. Social Security Disability Insurance Exemption. An exemption from payment of the special tax may be granted on any parcel owned by one or more persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (“SSDI”), regardless of age, who occupies the parcel as a principal residence, and 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, upon proper application for exemption (“SSDI Recipient Exemption”). The District shall annually provide to the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector or other appropriate County tax official a list of parcels that the District has approved for a SSDI Recipient Exemption.
Annual Audit. Upon the levy and collection of the education parcel tax, the Board of Education shall cause an account to be established for deposit of the proceeds, pursuant to Government Code Section 50075.1. For so long as the tax is collected, the Superintendent of the District shall cause an independent financial auditor to prepare a report to be filed with the Board of Education no later than December 31 of each year, commencing December 31, 2021, stating (1) the amount collected and expended in such year, and (2) the status of any projects or description of any programs funded. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period, as the Superintendent shall determine, and may be incorporated into or filed with the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board of Education.
Specific Purposes. All of the purposes named in this Measure shall constitute the specific purposes of the education parcel tax, and proceeds thereof shall be applied only for such purposes.
Pursuant to California Constitution article XIIB and applicable law, the appropriations limit for the District will be adjusted periodically by the aggregate sum collected by levy of this special tax.
LEVY AND COLLECTION
The education parcel tax shall be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner and shall be subject to the same penalties as ad valorem property taxes collected by the Treasurer-Tax Collector. Unpaid taxes shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid. Any tax levied will become a lien upon the properties against which taxes are assessed and collectible
The education parcel tax shall be due with respect to every parcel of real property in the District, which receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. All property, which is otherwise exempt from or on which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the education parcel tax in such year. In addition, parcels may be exempt from the education parcel tax as described above under “EXEMPTIONS AND REBATES”.
The District shall annually provide a list of parcels to the Alameda County tax collection officials, which the District has approved for an exemption in accordance with this Measure. The Alameda County Assessor’s determination of exemption or relief for any reason of any parcel from taxation, other than through either of said exemptions, shall be final and binding for the purposes of the education parcel tax. Taxpayers wishing to challenge the County Assessor’s determination must do so under the procedures for correcting a misclassification of property pursuant to Section 4876.5 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code or other applicable procedures. Taxpayers seeking a refund of any tax paid shall follow the procedures applicable to property tax refunds pursuant to the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
The Board of Education may adopt such additional or supplemental procedures as it deems necessary or convenient for the administration of the education parcel tax.
PROTECTION OF FUNDING
In the event the Congress or State Legislature enacts any law, or the U.S. Department of Education, or the State Department of Education or State Board of Education adopts any rule, providing that other funding to which the District would otherwise be entitled will be reduced as a result of the District’s income from the education parcel tax, the Board of Education may take action as soon as practicable to reduce the amount or rate of the education parcel tax such that the amount collected will not cause such other funding to be reduced.
The Board of Education 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 Education 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.