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PUSD Board voting on reducing taxpayer protection

Original post made by Dark Corners of Town, Country Fair, on Mar 23, 2010

A March 23 board of trustees meeting agenda item is to support the initiative to reduce voter threshold for education parcel taxes to 55% from 2/3. Let's see whether the Board members want to make it easier to tax and spend. The 2/3 threshold hasn't stopped many communities from passing parcel tax measures. Just because some communities can't reach the 2/3 level is no reason to just lower the threshold is it? Oh, right, change the rules if you can't win.

Comments (32)

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Posted by My 2/100
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

...and it would matter if the PUSD board had the ability to repeal Prop 13. Since they don't....


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm

By that logic, if it doesn't matter, then why are they wasting time on it?


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Here is a good article:
(Web Link)
What Politics Looks Like in a Union-Run World That Has Run Out of Money


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Do what you want because you ain't gonna get crap from me. All you want to do is extort-extort-extort money from your neighbors for your spoiled kids. PAY YOUR OWN WAY...YOU ALREADY GET A TAX WRITE-OFF FOR YOUR KIDS...USE IT FOR THEIR EDUCATION INSTEAD OF VACATIONS, CELL PHONES, PS3'S AND ALL OF THE REST..............TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!!


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Posted by anti-stupid brigade
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

muuuuahahahahaha!!!! Your tax dollars are belong to us!


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

It would be more accurate to say that they were voting to endorse and work to reduce taxpayer protection. I put little stock in their chances of succeeding however. Most view prop 13 as one of the few legislations that got it right. And the unintended consequences of repealing it to resolve the emotionally charged issue of the day (education funding) would be disastrous. If you own a home in California or ever hope to, this law needs to be protected from all assailants.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm

To Dark Corners,

A bigger question is what to do about Proposition 13. It was an ill conceived law that is counter-productive and creates market biases that impede wealth creation. That lowers economic growth and makes us all poorer.

I sure hope the board would support lowering the threshold.

Here's something else I'm curious about. I get the impression that you feel that "taxing and spending" are always bad things, regardless of the need. Is that the right impression? If it is, why? Is there some correct level of taxation and spending, from your perspective? If we are taxing and spending too much in Pleasanton these days, can you point to a time where we were taxing and spending at the right level? Was there a time when taxes were too low? Or are taxes always too high?


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Hey "reader"...if it wasn't for Prop 13 you would probably be living in Idaho or Montana or another "great state" becuase you wouldn't be able to live here...you couldn't afford it. I was here and I know what they did to us! PROP. 13 SAVED CALIFORNIA. Before Prop 13. my property taxes just went up and up and up and up and you get the message, don't you. Talk to some of the "older folks" who remember being taxed at the whims of Sacramento...or I will tell you how it was TO PAY MY PARENT'S PROPERTY TAXES SO THAT THEY WOULDN'T LOSE THEIR HOME!!!! YA, THAT IS TRUE AND IT HAPPENED TO OTHERS. WISE UP, NIMROD.


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm

To 'a reader' - That is not the right impression.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Slightly off topic, but I will throw out the thesis that sales tax (which was once about 6.5%) is a major inhibitor to business in California. It was raised over time in an era before high speed connectivity. The global shopping phenomenon has put California and the bay area in particular, into a tail spin. Our businesses are simply un-competitive due to the killer combination of the highest sales tax in the country coupled with some of the highest facility costs. California businesses that sell products to Californians are competing at a ten percent disadvantage (or more) if the item is small enough to be shipped and inexpensive enough to avoid use tax. This has to chance and soon.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:56 pm

That should obviously been "change and soon", not "chance and soon".


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Posted by Does it make a difference?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:43 am

What difference does it make if the PUSD board supports the initiative? Just curious what the big deal is. I am voting no on the initiative if it makes it to the ballot, and I am sure others will too. Not many will vote for taxing themselves. So what difference does it make if the board endorses it? We know the PTA will be involved, and so will the union, and that I think will happen with or without the endorsement of the board


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Posted by Dark Corners of Town
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 24, 2010 at 6:57 am

To 'Does it make a difference' - What do you think the reaction of Mr. Bowser, Ms. Laursen, Pleasanton parcel tax supporters and the general community would be if the PUSD Board had instead said 'NO' with a 0-5 vote?


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Posted by Does it make a difference
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

Dark Corners: I had not thought of that. I guess once you put it that way, it does make a difference. The PTAs et al only do what the district tells them, and if the district did not endorse such an initiative, the PTAs would not get involved.

PUSD board members: you are not supposed to be political, you are supposed to serve the community and students. Use your time to study the budget and come up with real solutions instead of wasting time talking about this initiative.


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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Perhaps one way to help voters decide who to elect next November, is to ask school board candidates their position on reducing the voter threshold for parcel taxes from 2/3 to 55%.
I will submit this question to the League of Women Voters or whoever sponsors a candidates' forum.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Business as usual for government. Government agencies endorse every tax increase or ways to make tax increases easier. Once government has all of your money, they will still want more. It is a conflict of interest for government to endorse a measure to make increasing of taxes easier.

We should initiate a study on initiatives. "Has a government agency ever voted to oppose a tax increase or a measure to make tax increases easier." I say it has never happened but a study would prove that.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

To Joe,

Lay off the caps lock. Take some time to understand what the unintended consequences of prop 13 are, and how the proposition is destroying job creation and wealth creation by interfering with the free market.

Here's a question for you. Prop 13 sets the cap on property tax increases to the maximum of 2% or CPI inflation index. Would you be opposed to lowering that cap to a maximum of 1% or CPI? If so, why?


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Posted by Down with the Majority!
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:13 am

Heaven forbid we allow a majority of society to do what it wants.


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Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

To: Does it Make a Difference - The distict did not tell the PTA to support the local funding threshold initiative. The PTA is the organization that brought it to light and asked that the board support it as soemthing that could be beneficial for school districts throughout the state - not just Pleasanton. There is nothing wrong with getting things on a ballot and letting the public decide.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If only 40% of the electorate votes in an election and passes a parcel tax at the threshold of 55%, that ain't the majority of society.

For example:
Pleasanton has 40,961 registered voters as of March 2009 (Web Link) Measure G had a total of 17,541 yes and no votes (Web Link) That's only 43% of the electorate dictating to the majority.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

But let me take that even further. If we had this 55% threshold in place for Measure G, it would mean out of 17541 voters it would need only 9648 yes votes. That means only 24% of the electorate would have imposed a tax. Who is the majority again?


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Posted by Get the facts
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Then more people should be responsible and vote it they don't want a small majority to dictate policy. Voting is easy and many choose to ignore it. Those that choose to be responsible should have their voices heard more than those who ignore elections. If someone did not know about Measure G last year they must be completley oblivious about Pleasanton - it was everywhere.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

And that's why I'm no fan of so-called direct democracy.


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Posted by To Get the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm

"If someone did not know about Measure G last year they must be completley oblivious about Pleasanton"

Apparently, enough people knew about it because it was defeated.

The percentage needed to pass a parcel tax should not be lowered. That is like saying that since getting an A in certain class is too difficult, the school will lower the standards for A and now a 70% means an A.

Many districts managed to pass a parcel tax even with the 2/3 majority, so why change that? So districts like PUSD which have people who actually know what a nonsense parcel taxes are can pass these taxes with the vote of a minority? Yes, a minority because unless you get every resient of Pleasanton out there to cast a vote, you have a minority of people voting. 2/3 should then not be difficult to obtain, right?


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

To Reader: I was here too just before Prop 13 was passed and property taxes were getting very scary the way they were jumping up. I also have friends in Massachusetts who are selling their house even though the mortgage is paid off because they can't afford the taxes which keep going up. My in-laws in New York had to move out of the family home to Florida (away from everyone!!!!)because Florida's property taxes were so low at the time (not sure what they're like now). And some other friends in Virginia just moved to South Carolina to get away from volatile property taxes.

Be very careful what you wish for ;/ you may someday end up with a tax bill that makes you have to move out of your house or into another state.

Prop 13 has given California stability.


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm

"I was here too just before Prop 13 was passed and property taxes were getting very scary the way they were jumping up. "

In what way does that possibly make Prop 13 a perfect law? How is it so wonderful that it can't be modified in the slightest way? Have you read what Warren Buffet thinks about the law? The fact of Prop 13 is that recent buyers subsidise long term buyers by paying a higher rate of tax. It punishes people who move (creating economic activity and wealth) and rewards people who don't move (adding to economic stagnation). Economists have estimated the economic damage done by Prop 13 to be in the tens of billions of dollars. It is that big a drag on the economy.

So, would you object to changing the cap in tax increases to the maximum of 1% or CPI inflation, as an alternative to the current 2% or CPI inflation? Why or why not?


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

"Many districts managed to pass a parcel tax even with the 2/3 majority, so why change that? "

Because the 2/3 majority made no sense in the first place.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

As if somehow 55% makes sense.

All 2/3rds means is that there must be enough support to affect a change, the implication being that the change proposed has a big impact on everyone. Imposing a regressive _new_ tax that has no relation to actual income can be considered a big impact.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Because, you know, it is easier to steamroll something over the other 45% than to come up with a proposal that more people can support.


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Posted by I remember
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2010 at 10:12 pm

How about having Gov Moonbeam RESCIND his CA killer public unions that he started back then, the beginning of the end. Stop blaming 13, when it is public unions that is destroying education. However, Education still gets the lion's share of CA taxes. Everything we work for in CA goes to education, public unions, followed by welfare.....NOTHING left for anything else...NO roads, nothing else. As business leave the state....you're stuck with just us !


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Posted by a reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

"Everything we work for in CA goes to ed..."

I believe it is around 40%.


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Yes, part of participating and voicing your concern is showing up. At the polls that is. Stacy, as you know it is those present and voting. One would never do the math based on the total pool of registered voters when voter turnout in Pleasanton is usually 60%.


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