Property Tax Bill Around Town, posted by BJ, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm
I was just paying my property tax bill (2nd installment due by April 10th) and noticed a charge for "Voter Approved Debt Service: School Unified". I see the the Pleasanton School District has a tax surcharge of around 8% on my property tax bill. Since I bought my house not too long ago, with high property values, this tax is around $900! I am hearing about this new School tax of $233 so I guess that would mean that I would have a tax surcharge of $1133 for Pleasanton Schools. This is after the new 9.75% sales tax that started today and the surcharge on our State Income tax. Where does it stop? Our elected officials do not know how to manage money. When they overspend they demand that the taxpayers pay for their mistakes. My understandin on the new proposed school tax that if it passes, we will not have any additional services. I can understand asking people if they want to pay an additional tax for a new service but to have our government make bad spending decisions and demand that I pay more for the service we are already paying for is quite upsetting.
My 401(k) is in the tank while government employees have a guaranteed pension. How come the government employees have significantly better retirement programs than their bosses (the taxpayers)?
I have even heard that most government employees have free medical insurance once they retire! I certainly do not get that. It seems to me if the government employees paid for half of their medical coverage when they retire, the money saved in taxes could probably pay for half of the medical insurance for all the retired people in California since it seems like government employees make up about 50% of the job market. With the downturn in the economy I hear of lay-offs from just about every sector, major lay-offs, but not in government so government employees will make up a larger percentage of the workforce.
I think we have given the government enough of our money. This has to stop. I cannot support giving any more money to our government. I simply cannot afford this proposed parcel tax. No on the additional parcel tax for me.
Posted by Kiko, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm
"WHERE DOES IT STOP ?"...It stops with you when you vote to put an end to this madness and not believe the scare tactics employed by PUSD. This country was born in a revolution, A TAX REVOLUTION, and its coming again and its going to make Prop 13 look like a romp in the garden. Its not just in Pleasanton or California, its all across this country because WE THE PEOPLE are "MAD AS HELL AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE".
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm
Its govenrment...go figure. My property value went down, but my property tax went up...complain to who ? When we had the 7 yr drought, we all conserved water, but we did it too well, so they raised the rates because they couldn't operate on reduced revenues.
They needed that money for all those special employees and those special pensions that they deserve.
Arnold warned the state about those pensions and the deals Davis signed, but nobody believed him and he was shouted down by the unions and lost his election proposals. Now its coming true, and the only way out is to Nevada, Texas, Arizona...you get the picture. Follow the "BOOMERS"...they're leaving, and then waht is the state going to do ? RAISE TAXES
Posted by Why are y'all so hateful?, a resident of the Apperson Ridge neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 6:47 pm
This blog is filled with people who are so hateful and mean. You are not the "bosses" of government employees any more than you are the "bosses" of the checkers at Costco. Your money supports them too no? Get a grip, if you want to do something about government do it. Get involved stop complaining and do something.
Posted by Disagree w/B, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:40 pm
Why: We are the bosses of government--the officials are elected to serve the people and it is our money they spend. We can and will do something about their mismanagement of our money and trust--vote no on the parcel tax for starters.
Posted by y'all, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm
I don't read hate or mean, but I do read anger. We are the bosses and the sooner we assert our authority with the new tax revolt the sooner everyone will get the message. Isn't ironic that you are complaining about other people complaining, cholo.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:56 pm
As to supporting government employees and Costco checkers: One is forced to support government employees through mandatory taxation. One has the option to not support Costco checkers by simply chosing not to patronize Costco...
Posted by Lisa, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:27 am
It is not hateful to express one's opinions. It is only declared so by those disagreeing.
The employees of PUSD are some of the highest paid in the state.The education our children receive is not superior to those in other areas. I have found that many teachers are upset when they do not get their share of the GATE children. They expect the children to enter school having mastered those skills and standards they should be teaching. Then they expect you to pay for outside tutoring if your child is only mastering the grade level skills. There is little value in learning differences and a spoiled population of teachers who have an attitude of entitlement.
Posted by Sensibly Save Our Schools, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Apr 2, 2009 at 10:17 am Sensibly Save Our Schools is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
If you really want to be disgusted with the $1000 per month car allowance Dr. Casey receives, here's another fact. He lives within walking distance of the PUSD offices!
Voting NO on the parcel tax is an intelligent, informed vote based on checking facts, not falling for emotional rhetoric.
Please everyone, contact the PUSD offices and ask to see actual records of expenses. Many of the administrators not only get car allowances, but they also have district issued gasoline credit cards...Dr. Casey may also have a gasoline credit card, but requests to PUSD for records haven't been granted even though it's the taxpayers legal right to have access to all records.
I certainly wonder why PUSD is dragging its feet about supplying the documentation requested. While they and the School Board claim they want to be transparent in their dealings with the taxpayers, what's transparent is the reluctance they are demonstrating in providing the records they've been asked to provide.
Posted by Alee, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:15 am Alee is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I am so tired of the 64 cents a day stuff. I know a couple of whiny people who go around saying this nonsense all of the time. 64 cents is still a lot to some people, including me. It's three bananas, a carton of milk, or if you go to the bread outlet like I do, a whole loaf of bread. Some of these people have been living in lala land for so long it's not even funny. I don't want to give money to an irresponsible district- not a penny!
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm Jennifer is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Let me guess, all of you complainers probably have grown children who have already benefited from the exceptional schools that Pleasanton has to offer. I, on the other hand, have young children who are just entering the educational system. If this parcel tax does not pass, I'm frightened of what our schools may look like in just 3 years.
Also, as a former teacher, I can assure you that Pleasanton teachers are NOT some of the highest paid in the state. As a matter of fact, a close friend of mine recently took a pay cut to switch from Tracy Unified School District to Pleasanton. Let's get our facts straight! Yet, Newsweek Magazine rated Pleasanton schools in the top 3% in the nation a couple of years ago.
C'mon people, there's a reason why families choose to live in Pleasanton versus surrounding communities like Dublin, Livermore and Fremont. It's the schools!
Are you really willing to destroy that reputation because your are disgruntled with our government and trying to take a stand? I agree that our government appears corrupt, and has made some poor decisions with regards to our tax money, I'm frustrated as well. But, I'm not willing to allow my children to suffer over it. I also agree that 64 cents a day is a lot of money. I cut coupons and shop for discounts too. However, I'm not willing to discount the education of my children. I do applaud you on wanting to take a stand over more taxes, but don't do it at the expense of our children, our future.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Jennifer wrote: "As a matter of fact, a close friend of mine recently took a pay cut to switch from Tracy Unified School District to Pleasanton. Let's get our facts straight!"
That's certainly a fact, yet that should be an expected result when you start over again on a new salary schedule and don't have the steps yet. But how is that proof that PUSD doesn't pay high salaries? There's more too it than just getting facts straight. There's logical interpretation of facts too.
Posted by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Apr 3, 2009 at 8:03 am Jeb Bing is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Just a reminder that we are restricting all posts related to the June 2 parcel tax measure to registered users of the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum. We have found that this keeps the conversations more civil and focused without any restriction on what posters say or the opinions they express.
Posted by Alee, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2009 at 9:09 am Alee is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Jennifer- PROVE to me that standing up against this tax is at the expense of our children. I don't see it. How will our children suffer? They won't, and everyone is just believing the rhetoric they are being fed by the PTAs and the district. If you mean bigger classes, that will not hurt anyone. There are already 21 kids in my daughter's class and somehow her teacher finds the time to be on email all day. I am not willing to kick in my 64 cents a day.
Posted by Russell, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Apr 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm Russell is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Pleasanton schools are among the best in the entire state, let alone the Bay Area. It is why my family chose to buy our home here. The test scores show that clearly. Even if you do not have children in Pleasanton schools, home values here are higher because of the schools.
Many of the people commenting on this forum may not even live in Pleasanton. There are all kinds of anti-tax groups who are happy to spam discussion boards.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm Pleasanton Parent is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"If this parcel tax does not pass, I'm frightened of what our schools may look like in just 3 years. "
"Also, as a former teacher, I can assure you that Pleasanton teachers are NOT some of the highest paid in the state."
"Are you really willing to destroy that reputation because your are disgruntled with our government and trying to take a stand? I agree that our government appears corrupt, and has made some poor decisions with regards to our tax money, I'm frustrated as well. But, I'm not willing to allow my children to suffer over it. However, I'm not willing to discount the education of my children. I do applaud you on wanting to take a stand over more taxes, but don't do it at the expense of our children, our future."
First off let me thank you for your years of service as an educator. Your service to the community is greatly appreciated. I would like to point out a few counter points to some of the statements you made.
I too am concerned about the impact the deficit will have on the education system, and specifically that of the PUSD. I think there is a larger problem that needs to be addressed. The current economic environment does not support the level of spending that our schools have enjoyed in past years. The PUSD has elected to approach this gap by imposing a tax. The problem with this approach is that it is short lived. The tax "expires" in four years. The obvious hope is that state funding will return at that time to eliminate the need for the tax. The root problem is spending, and the proposed solution is a temporary crutch that will allow us to limp through the next few years. But then what? A more responsible approach would be for the PUSD to address the spending issues they have by taking an approach that focuses on eliminating wasteful/needless spending and negotiating (temporary) salary freezes with the Teacher's union. The PUSD admittedly has avoided salary freeze/cut negotiations (source PUSD homepage FAQ). I'm frightened of what our schools will look like if this systematic problem is allowed to continue.
Regarding your statement that Pleasanton teachers are not some of the highest paid in the state, I would like to bring to your attention the following (source: savepleasantonschools.org):
"The average teacher salary across the State was $65,808 in 2008. The average Pleasanton teacher salary for 2008 was $81,446." Of this salary benefits are paid by teachers.
Extrapolated out for a full 12 months $81,446 equates to just over $108k per year.
Not supporting measure G, as currently written, is not a lack of concern over the education our children receive. Instead its a call for reform in the way our schools approach spending. The PUSD is coming to the community for money. It should be up to the community to dictate to the PUSD how and under what conditions we are willing to provide additional funds. Not the other way around. This is a negotiation, not an "either/or" case.
I personally want to support measure G, and have no issue with a parcel tax. I think the investment into our schools is one well worth supporting. The return on the investment favors our children and our home values. Let us not fall victim to the rhetoric and act hastly without evaluating the real problem - spending.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
For the record, I'm a 30 resident of Pleasanton, not an outside anti-tax group. Please consider this. How does the current level of counselors (which Measure G funds will support) contribute to improved test scores? This increase in counselors occurred in 2007. The argument has been that without Measure G, Pleasanton school quality will suffer. Is the District suggesting that Pleasanton schools were in poor quality before 2007?
Kernan proposed that the board ask the district to hire new counselors, regardless if the state provides additional funding or not, by taking the money needed out of the district's reserve funds.
Trustee Juanita Haugen was adamant that the district should not dip into its reserve funds.
"I'm not willing to risk the reserve for hiring long-term people," Haugen said. "The worse thing we can do is hire someone without knowing we have funding and then cut them the next year, or cut other non-contracted staff."
Posted by Alee, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm Alee is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Lisa (and others) who comment on Pleasanton's high test scores. Read "The Bell Curve." You will then understand how test scores have nothing to do with money and teachers. High test scores have everything to do with the background of students and their families.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
They're commenting on high test scores because that's the measure of school quality that has a direct correlation with housing prices. And as you note, test scores have nothing to do with high amounts of money, which is why Measure G won't protect high property values.