Town Square

Post a New Topic

PUSD Parcel Tax Survey report available

Original post made by Dark Corners of Town on Nov 6, 2010

The 11/9 PUSD Board of Trustees meeting agenda includes a report and discussion of the recently completed parcel tax survey. It is embedded in the Board packet available here (Web Link). A much smaller and more readable version is available here (Web Link).

Comments (89)

Posted by interesting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm

So it looks like the survey recommends going for the lowest amount they tested, $98 for four years and it would have to be sold to the public as a measure that will not pay for salaries or benefits.

So I guess the key question is whether this means no increase in salaries or benefits for the next 4 years or whether salaries and benefit increases will come from a general pot and other funding that is usually used in the classroom is taken out from that pot so that the parcel tax can pay for it. If the former, I think some negotiations with the union are in order first to confirm this is possible.


Posted by Be ready when the Sh...t goes down!, a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 6, 2010 at 9:12 pm

So the survey says that it cannot get enough votes to pass unless you lower it to about 50 bucks per year................come on people the teachers make way to much money and do not have enough kids in their classroom


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Boring....Does anybody really care about this?


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:09 am

The supporters of a parcel tax want people not to pay attention so they can try and sneak other tax in. The people who run this city and district never met a tax they did not like.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

I don't mind paying for a parcel tax, regardless of the amount, as long as it is used for the right things. I will vote NO on a tax that indirectly supports teacher raises (as it ended up doing in San Ramon)

I voted YES on G, but after seeing how the teachers were quick to eliminate valuable programs like the 7th period, while their step and column remained intact, I would vote NO if the tax vote were to be held today.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

Step & Column has to go. Administrative salaries have to be cut. No parcel tax till all this is done.


Posted by To "Be Read", a resident of Ruby Hill
on Nov 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm

To "Be Ready"-Time you go back to the very schools you are blasting. It's "too much money" and not "to". I always think it's hilarious when people get on the boards and blast teachers, while making spelling mistakes.

Not that I'm for a pay raise, but does anyone on these boards realize that a tenured teacher paying benefits, makes the same amount as a new teacher who does not have to pay for benefits? By tenure, I mean 15 years. Isn't there something completely wrong with that?

Damn straight money should go towards benefits. Our district use to brag that we have the highest paid teachers and are one of the top performing districts in the state. Now only one of those statements is correct (here's a hint-it has nothing to do with pay).


Posted by Ahhhh, a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Now that election day is over, some people in this town have nothing to complain about. So of course it's time to nail the teachers again.

Thank you teachers for all of your hard work!!!


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Of course there should be a parcel tax, and yes it should go for teacher raises. We have some of the best schools in the country here in Pleasanton. I don't have a problem with that at all. The survey results weren't that interesting in that a solid majority supports a parcel tax. We already knew that.

Too bad the parcel tax can't only be applied to people over 55 and those who have been in their homes 25 years or more. They are really the ones who aren't paying their fair share. Too many of them are happy to take our tax money to subsidize their Medicare and Social Security, but won't pay their part for the schools. I call on everyone in this category to donate at least $200 a year the school system. It is the very least you could do.


Posted by Be ready when the Sh...t goes down!, a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm

My wife is a teacher and she cannot believe how much she gets paid for what she does and the time she receives off. She would gladly take a paycut just to get out of the union. She says if she wanted to make big money she would get a fulltime job.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Once and for all, there is no such word as "paycut". You've been posting here for a long time and won't learn that lesson. Sounds like maybe your wife needs to teach you something.

Here's a suggestion for your wife. Donate the amount she thinks she is overpaid back to the school system.


Posted by Ferdie, a resident of Danbury Park
on Nov 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Observation,

So nice of teachers like yourself to focus and correct the little things in life. Must be nice to live in such a small enclosed place. You should venture out where the achievers in life play.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm

To Ferdie,

How wonderful of you to jump to false assumptions. I am a software engineer, not a teacher. I am grateful to the teachers who taught me the basics and encouraged me to learn. How about you? Tell us about the role teachers played in your life.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

'Interesting' asks a good question as to how parcel tax funds are guaranteed *not* to be used for administration salaries, or an increase in salaries? Similarly, how will parcel tax funds would be shown in the budget, and what accounting and auditing practices would be used to prove that these funds were only used for the stated purposes.
The final recommendation page says "this measure will not be used to fund increased salaries and benefits for employees." Does this include the annual step salary increases?
*If* PUSD decides to go for ParcelTax2, these will be one of many aspects that will need to be very clear.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 7, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Would it also mean no promotions with pay raises will be allowed for the duration of the parcel tax?


Posted by Oh, Ferdie, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 7, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Oh Ferdie,

If you cannot bring a logical argument to the table, then I guess you must resort to name calling and abusive comments. Napoleon complex at its best!


Posted by To Be Ready, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Sure your wife is a teacher and sure she is shocked at how much she gets paid. That's almost as good as the time someone claimed they printed out the released STAR questions and went over them with their child 5 times a week. I always get a laugh when I'm on this site!


Posted by Missed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

As a homeowner, I find it interesting I did not get a call. I did not for the last survey either. You see, I monitor my caller ID and 'see' who's calling and listen for them to say ' Hi, I'm making a Pleasanton survey..OR, if it would have shown 'Pleasanton Survey' or any survey, I would have picked up in a minute....LOVE gving my opinion. BUT, like last time, I have a hunch they don't identify...What a mistake ! ! So, the survey is not a true showing of voters...What a waste ! !


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Earth to "Missed",

Because you didn't get a call, "the survey is not a true showing of voters"? You do realize that this doesn't make any sense at all. It is a survey. With a margin of error tied to the sample size. Do you know anything about statistics?


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm

"Would it also mean no promotions with pay raises will be allowed for the duration of the parcel tax?"

It is a different thing to say that none of the parcel tax money would be used for salary increases than to say that there will not be any raises given for the duration of the parcel tax. As long as the parcel tax spending is strictly accounted for, it can go specifically to the programs targeted by the tax. Any money for step and column increases would have to come from other funding.


Posted by Dark Corners, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:01 pm

I'd be willing to make this pledge: if we can get teachers to agree that they won't get step and column or COLA adjustments, we in the private sector will promise to donate OUR raises, profits above the previous year's totals, and COLA advances to the schools too.

Is that fair? Do you think that's something we'd all be able to agree on? We should all really be in the same boat on this.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 6:51 am

I believe all of this is foolishness. The US government is going broke and California already is. The US is going to go into major cost cutting and program cutting down to the essensials only and then maybe a bit more. Medicare, social security, defense spending etc. all will be on the chopping block. California will need to be on a cost cutting steriod program. My point here is that we sit here in little Pleasanton and look at the world like no one can impact us and we are insulated. Nothing could be further from the truth and e need to start looking at cutting all city expenses and freeze salaries, pension plan needs to reduced to something which we can afford. Once we have cut all the fat then let's talk about a parcel tax or if we really need one at all. It is all a big house of spending not PSUD in isolation.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

"WE sit here in little Pleasanton ..."
"Once WE have cut all the ..."

"Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore"

What gives? Livermore or Pleasanton?


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

" we in the private sector will promise to donate OUR raises"

Collecting Social Security and Medicare doesn't count as "private sector".

"...Is that fair?"

No that doesn't fair. Are you implying that no one in the private sector got raises? I can only speak to the company I work for and the company my wife works for. We just completed a major acquisition and as a result, we added jobs, not cut jobs. Those of us who worked on integrating their products with the acquiring company all got very nice bonuses. Many of us got raises. We are also holding a job fair here in the area for people with engineering and IT skills.

Have you seen NFLX lately? Too bad I'm not working there. They are minting millionaires. Still, I can't complain.


Posted by Gloria, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:35 am

Parcel taxes are one way again of getting rid of Propostion 13. Get rid of administrators and pay the teachers. If all the people who voted for the last parcel tax of $298.00 would have just paid that amount I do not think the schools would have a problem. Gloria


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

I am afraid we are not thinking bit enough and see that our current situation is completely unsustainable and will only get worse. Runaway debt, huge entitlements, double digit unemployment, and yet I have never heard a solution presented to this from either side. Maybe the solution is what we are getting, nothing, and eventually by doing nothing we simply run out of cash and people/business to tax. Anyone ever hear of huge corporations moving here? Maybe one or two, but for the most part it is an exit strategy. Last night I heard that Toyota in southern california is going to pull out in the next 2 years and "consolidate" back east and with it will go 5,000 well paying jobs.


Posted by Pleasanton parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

Dark Corners,
While there have been a few, most companies are not asking for tax payer funding while increasing salaries/benefits of it's employees which is part of the reason they are asking for money to begin with.


Posted by No Parcel Tax, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

Many of us believe Observation should pay all of our taxes; (including the first school tax we now pay) especially since most of us have been paying Observation's fair share for 40 years or more. It is clear that Observation believes you solve a problem by throwing money at it! Your hard earned money. How many years have you given your time, energy and money to support our Schools and our Community? I am certain Observation could never come close to what many of us have donated. I am sure Observation will continue to make something up to further Observation's Agenda (waste not solutions).


Posted by Bruce, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

Maybe it is time to stop wasting billions on a Dept of Education in Washington and put that money in the classroom where it belongs.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

"Parcel taxes are one way again of getting rid of Propostion 13."

Wrong! That is a way to tax those of us who already pay our fair share, more. With the senior exemption, those paying a thousand or less per year in property taxes, do not pay the parcel tax. So we continue to pay high property taxes plus a parcel tax while the older folks pay a thousand or less per year (ridiculous, isn't it?) and get to be exempt from parcel taxes.

"Maybe it is time to stop wasting billions on a Dept of Education in Washington and put that money in the classroom where it belongs."

That is what Meg was proposing, but somehow many got fooled and voted for Brown, who is pro union and will only make the problem much worse - he has no intention to reform the main problem: unions and their ridiculous pensions and benefits


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

Michael,
Solyndra is also going to be closing facilities and laying off employees. Even with government loans their operations in ca is not sustainable.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

Pleasanton Parent and Resident,


Solyndra is a poor business model and without subsidies it was and is destined for failure and will close completely in the next couple of years as soon as they have depleted "our money" not the governments. Related to seniors and those which have chosen to retire and no longer have employment income, I say they should not be part of the tax structure. They have done their share and probably more than their share so why keep riding them like a "pack mule"? We need to cut cost but nobody wants to do it now but will be forced to quite soon. What is that Kenny Chesney song? "everybody wants to go to heaven, just not now".


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

"especially since most of us have been paying Observation's fair share for 40 years or more."

Can you please explain what you meant by this? I can't make any sense of it. I've been paying taxes for over 20 years, and that has been paying for Social Security and Medicare benefits for current recipients. I will probably never see anything like those benefits when (and if) I'm eventually eligible for Social Security or Medicare. People who've been in their homes more that 20 years are also paying a small fraction in property taxes of what I'm paying.

Just like I said above, it would be a good thing if we could exempt (from a parcel tax) everyone under say 55 or 60 years old as well as people who have been in there homes fewer than 15 years. Maybe there is a way to do that. That is a parcel tax that a 2/3 majority would support easily.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 10:53 am

" They have done their share and probably more than their share so why keep riding them like a "pack mule"?"

Keep riding them? Are you kidding? Their Social Security and Medicare payments are bankrupting the US economy. They are the largest fraction of the federal budget by far (next is defense). Retirees are taking out far more than they ever put in. Those of us in our forties or thirties may never see Social Security or Medicare, or will see severely reduced benefits.

On top of that. Those who've been in their homes for decades are paying far less than those who've been in their homes less than 10 years.

If anyone needs to pay more it is that group of people. If you want to cut spending, look first to Social Security and Medicare


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

Observation,

I believe she/he is saying they have been paying school taxes, property taxes, school bonds, fundraisers, et al for the past 40 years and need some relief and I do not blame them. My in laws are retired on fixed income in Pleasanton and can stand no more taxes or fees or whatever you want to call it.

Regarding the second issue, well, you are no different than any of us were. My parents bought their house for nothing compared to what I paid and paid far less than what I pay in property taxes but that is just the way it works. You bought your house I guess in the last few years and therefore you paid more and your property taxes will be more, but you have the opportunity to continue to work for many more years and your earning power is in front of you. People who are retired or not working should not have to pay taxes, at least parcel taxes.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Observation,

By the way, you sound like me 20 years ago, paying more in than I will ever get out and it still holds true but just the facts I guess.


Posted by Parcel, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Of course 'parcel' is the most unfair form of tax... Danbury Park and Ruby Hill pay the same amount. Compare Danbury Park, a senior, no kids, vs. Ruby Hill, 40 yr old, 3 kids in PUSD. Interesting.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I find it ironic that people who typically are the least in favor of the parcel tax are also the ones who pay the least taxes and use the MOST resources from welfare programs like social security and medicare.

Shame on you for asking that schools should cut programs and our hard-working teachers should cut their salaries that YOU can enjoy your taxpayer-funded lifestyle.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Livermore
on Nov 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Anonymous,

I cannot quite figure out who you are talking with. Most of the ones above who complain about a parcel tax are ones with money or retired and paid into the system for decades.


Posted by A Parent, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Nov 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Gloria,

"If all the people who voted for the last parcel tax of $298.00 would have just paid that amount I do not think the schools would have a problem."

Most of us did and paid even more, I paid it for each of my children; not to mention time doing fundraisers for the schools so they can have tech support, librarians etc. Many families are giving it right to their students' school.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm

"I find it ironic that people who typically are the least in favor of the parcel tax are also the ones who pay the least taxes and use the MOST resources from welfare programs like social security and medicare."

Actually, seniors for the most part vote yes on parcel taxes because they are exempt from it. They are the ones on social security and medicare, and the ones with property taxes that are too low.

I will vote NO on any parcel tax that indirectly supports teacher raises and that exempts seniors. I pay more than 12K per year in property taxes and do not mind, but I do not think it is fair to exempt seniors, who, for the most part, pay 1K or less in property taxes, and like you said, they are the ones getting lots of money subsidized by us, the taxpayers, they get medicare and social security. They should not be exempt from a parcel tax.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm

"They should not be exempt from a parcel tax."

I'll further that and say that anyone under 60 and living in their house less than 20 years should automatically be exempt. That would pass easily, and it would generate plenty of revenue.


Posted by Not So Sure, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I'm not paying a Parcel Tax as long as there's Teacher Tenure and Retirement before age 65. Because...no one in the private sector gets those perks. Also, salaries in the private sector are far lower than salaries of public employees. We can't afford it any more.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:44 am

I am a senior, lived in Pleasanton for 32 years, and pay $9K in property taxes. Where does this person who says seniors for the most part pay $1K in property taxes get his/her data?????? Throughout the years I and my employers paid about $500K into SS and Medicare, so don't you think they owe me something back when I collect it? Therefore, Resident, please don't use seniors as your excuse for not paying a parcel tax. Not when you can afford to regularly pay $12K in property taxes!!!

For me, I refuse to play the money shifting game which keeps the step and column increases going, and therefore won't go along with any parcel tax. It is time for public service employees to get in sync with the real economy, which is the wealth generated by the private sector. The private sector is the golden-egg-laying goose, and the public service sector is there to help keep that goose laying those golden eggs. Today, this relationship is upside-down, especially in California.


Posted by obsservation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 7:44 am

Frank,

Did you read what I wrote?

"under 60 and living in their house less than 20 years should automatically be exempt. "

Now, if you bought your house more than 32 years ago, and you pay $9000 per year in property taxes, you own one of the most expensive houses in Pleasanton. On top of that, I'm subsidizing you with Medicare and Social Security payments. You, a very wealthy person are getting welfare payments (Social Security, Medicare) from me. That is totally backwards. And don't give me any nonsense about "paying into the system". You didn't pay into "the system", you paid taxes. Like everyone else. Tax payments pay current recipients, they don't get saved somewhere. That's how it works. People who are in their thirties or even forties who are working hard to pay your welfare payments will probably never get to see any Social Security or Medicare by the time they retire because your generation bankrupted the system. It is shameful. And don't lecture me about the "private sector". Social Security and Medicare aren't the "private sector".

As to paying teachers enough, I think we need to be paying them even more. I would never have been able to have the career in engineering that I have now were it not for some of the science and math teachers I had. I think we need to pay them even more and give them better benefits. Here's a suggestion for you. Why not take your Social Security payments and donate them to the schools.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 8:52 am

"Throughout the years I and my employers paid about $500K into SS and Medicare, so don't you think they owe me something back when I collect it?"

No, we don't owe you anything. You paid taxes and your employer paid taxes. Your taxes paid for defense, roads, welfare, food stamps, court systems, and the things government spends money on. Social Security and Medicare are welfare. Plain and simple. My generation is "paying in", and will probably never see anything at all coming back. Have you no shame?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 9, 2010 at 8:53 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Blame the victims of the government's giant Ponzi scheme! It's surely their fault the system is bankrupt because they lived too long, notwithstanding the fact that self-sufficient senior citizens enable the generation that got stolen from, the thirty and forty year olds, to have careers that enable the $12K property tax payments instead of having to care for parents.


Posted by Not So Sure, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 10:13 am

Observation: Do you know how much seniors actually receive in social security and medicare? Not much. I think your anger over taxes for older folks is misdirected. Retirees from the private sector have no pensions (I don't know one retired person who has a pension from a private sector job except for relatives who are dentists and set up their own pension plan). On the other hand, public employees are receiving "over-the-top" amounts of money from taxpayer funded pensions. That's where your anger should be directed...to the guy getting $25,000 a MONTH in pension payments...not the senior getting 25,000 a year! The public sector is where the real "well-fare" is.

(And the cushy medical benefits for public pension is sickening compared to what medicare pays).


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 9, 2010 at 10:18 am

Can a school district claim that no parcel tax funds can be used for administration salaries or salary increases?

John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California gives an example: "...if the district wanted to (say) increase the salary of an administrator by $1,000, it could reduce the amount of money it would have otherwise spent on classroom instruction from other funds by $1,000 and use it to pay the administrator, and then use the new tax to cover the hole in classroom instruction spending. ... I am not suggesting that anyone is considering doing such a thing, only that because of the fungibility of money, there is really no way to control where it will effectively (as opposed to nominally) go within the budget ..."
Can anyone show how parcel tax funds can be non-fungible?


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:12 am

That is the problem. Even if parcel tax funds are marked for classroom use only, they alleviate a pressure in another area that created the problem to begin with. That is my biggest complaint with the parcel tax - it doesn't fix anything, its just a band aid that allows a growing problem to get even bigger.

Fix that growing problem and then I will consider a parcel tax.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:47 am

To Stacey,

"Blame the victims"

Blame the victims? That is rich. Are you trying to be a comedian? This guy has one of the most expensive homes in Pleasanton, has well over a million in assets, and I'm sending him a welfare check every month, and he is the victim somehow? That is some twisted logic.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

I forgot to mention that I'm also subsidizing this millionaire "victim's" medical care. But he is the victim. And who says I don't care for my parents?


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:55 am

To "Not So Sure",

"Do you know how much seniors actually receive in social security and medicare?"

Yes, it is about 38% of the entire federal budget in 2008 and growing fast. That is more than a third of all federal spending.

"On the other hand, public employees are receiving "over-the-top" amounts of money from taxpayer funded pensions"

I can direct my anger at them too. And under my proposal, they will get hit by the parcel tax as well. We can claw some of that money back.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm

" could reduce the amount of money it would have otherwise spent on classroom instruction from other funds by $1,000 and use it to pay the administrator"

You're asking the wrong question. We should be using the parcel tax money to increase the salaries of teachers and administrators. That survey doesn't address the parcel tax I am proposing at all. I think you'd find many of the supports for a parcel tax that taxed seniors only, and only those owning their homes more than 20 years would pass easily. People would likely also approve of using those funds for increasing salaries to attract the brightest and the best. It is education we're talking about, and Pleasanton already has some of the best schools in the country.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm

To 'observation' - I guess you didn't read the report (pg 11) where 'funds would go to salaries/raises' made voters more likely to vote 'NO'.


Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Einstein is a registered user.

Everyone commenting on this blog about parcel tax should go over the GX's posting about entitlements and read and reflect on that for awhile. A parcel tax is like spitting in the ocean compared to the level of money being taken by our elected officials to pay their cronies. Wouldn't $47,000,000 help our school system?


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Observation,

Are you for real or just being a troll? Seriously, you want to go after people who have paid all their lives but not go after the 60% of Californians who pay not a dime of tax? You will just need to keep working and working hard to support us "boomers" like we worked hard to support our elders who in are case were america's greatest generation.


Posted by interesting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:47 pm

No observation, no one will vote for your plan. Can we move on now please?


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm

To Jerry,

You bet I'm for real, and the kind of parcel tax I'm talking about would pass easily.

" but not go after the 60% of Californians who pay not a dime of tax?"

Who in the world are the "60% of Californians who pay not a dime of tax"? I've never heard of that. Maybe you're the "troll" playing fast and free with the facts.

" like we worked hard to support our elders..."

Benefits were far lower, and the number of retirees were quite small when you paid taxes. No, we can't afford to keep sending you welfare checks and paying for your prescription drugs and medical services at unsustainable levels. A seniors only parcel tax directed specifically at those who've owned their homes over 20 years is an effective way to get some of that money back.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

"No observation, no one will vote for your plan. Can we move on now please?"

Quite the contrary, the plan would pass overwhelmingly. The majority of voters wouldn't even pay the tax. It would only target those who are causing the largest drain on the system. At the same time it would send money to our schools to educate the future generations who will have to compete for jobs in an increasingly competitive world economy.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

To "Dark Corners of Town",

" I guess you didn't read the report (pg 11) where 'funds would go to salaries/raises' made voters more likely to vote 'NO'."

I did read that. It is irrelevant. It applies to a different proposed tax with entirely different conditions. They're talking about a parcel tax with a senior exemption. I'm talking about a parcel tax with a non-senior exemption. Put that in a poll and see how it does.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

To 'observation' - I suggest you attend tonight's school board meeting where they are discussing the survey and offer your idea and contribute to the forming of a parcel tax.
By the way - are you the same 'observation' at the beginning of this thread who said this topic was 'boring'?


Posted by No Parcel ^Tax, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Observation,
Don't be so quick to assume that many of us, who have lived here for 30, 40 yrs. etc, are paying low taxes under the original prop 13. There are many who have moved a couple of times since the 1970's. Many of us have only been in our homes for 1,2,3,and 4 years. We pay higher taxes beginning from $9000.00 plus per year on just property taxes. And by the way, we probably won't be able to collect any of that Social Security we paid into also.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm

To "Dark Corners of Town",

Too late for me to make the meeting tonight, but I hope to someone else brought it up. I wonder if any of them read this blog.

Yes, I'm the same "observation" as above. I still think the results of the poll were boring and predictable. They asked the wrong questions.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

To "No Parcel Tax",

"Many of us have only been in our homes for 1,2,3,and 4 years"

You would be exempt! You're doing enough as it is, in my opinion.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Nov 9, 2010 at 10:28 pm

My post above was directed at Resident, but "observation" took it as directed at him/her. Are you also posting as "Resident"?

You really made me feel bad (NOT) by shaming me for defending seniors who have paid into a system called medicare and social security for many years in exchange for a return on those dollars during "retirement", promised by the US government. By the way, these seniors also paid property, income, and sales taxes all of those years, some of which went into the schools that paid those teachers that helped you get into your engineering career(mistake?). However, those teachers seem to have been unable to help you think critically and clearly.... for example, why do assume I have lived in the same house all of those years? Why do you say you are "paying in", but clearly seniors have already payed in much longer than you have, and our contribution does not count but yours does? And with your engineering degree, have you actually done any math? How many seniors do you estimate there are in Pleasanton that own their home over 20 years times $298 equals what amount of money?????? Meanwhile, Resident pays $12K property taxes and complains that seniors living in Pleasanton are paying $1K.... How many do you think truly are..6 or 7? Finally, I have lived in this house 18 years and pay $9K in property taxes. So, what math or study did you do that says if a senior lives in a house over 20 years that they have little in property taxes to pay?


Posted by Devon, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Now that Jerry Brown is elected, I hope he follows through with his intention to overturn Prop. 13 so everyone can pay their fair share of property taxes. Why should new homeowners be paying more than the guy next door for the same services?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 10, 2010 at 8:11 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Why does government deserve a windfall of new revenue from current homeowners just because some speculative new neighbors decided to overpay for their new home? (Devon, BTW, the answer to your question is to be found in a court case.)

I'm much more interested in Jerry Brown's education plan.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 10:45 am

"Why does government deserve a windfall of new revenue from current homeowners just because some speculative new neighbors decided to overpay for their new home?"

Stacey:

There are quite a few people paying 1K or less per year in property taxes. Even without "overpaying" like you say, that amount is ridiculous! No other state in the nation has this kind of nonsense going on. Take away the taxes of the people who "overpaid" and you have 0 money left to subsidize all these older people paying a ridiculous amount (too little) of property taxes. Prop 13 is a problem, and maybe the way to fix it is by making sure that people pay taxes when they sell their property to someone who "overpays" as you call it (ie, to someone paying current market value). So, don't force the older folks to sell and leave, but when they do and "cash out" make sure they pay their fair share of taxes. It cannot be both ways: they say prices are too high so why should they pay taxes because others "overpay" then turn around and happily sell and get to keep all that money they got from someone who "overpaid" - either make them pay as they go (increase their yearly tax or accumulate what they owe and make them pay when they sell)


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

To frank,

No, I'm not posting as "Resident", just commenting on what I see.

" who have paid into a system called medicare and social security for many years in exchange for a return on those dollars during "retirement", promised by the US government. "

There is just so much wrong with the sentence. You've paid taxes. Those taxes got spent to pay for all the things government spends money on, like building air craft carriers, running the court systems, or paying for food stamps. Your money didn't ever go into some kind of investment or banking system; It got spent. The only thing you should expect in exchange for that is government services. Those Social Security payments you are getting aren't coming from some investment fund or bank account, they are coming from tax payers like me who are working hard and paying taxes. Those payments are wealth transfers, pure and simple. The same goes for Medicare coverage. Both are welfare programs.

I don't see anywhere were someone _promised_ you a retirement program, medical care, or a prescription drug program with specific benefits enumerated in detail for today and the future. Sure, I get those mailings from the Social Security Department, but they never make specific promises on how much I will be paid, like I would get with an annuity, for example. I don't get anything from Medicare promising me something.

"By the way, these seniors also paid property, income, and sales taxes all of those years"

Yes, we all pay taxes. No, I don't expect to receive Social Security or Medicare in any substantial amount. Both will have to be cut severely in the future because of the excessive and unsustainable amounts being paid out to current retirees.

"for example, why do assume I have lived in the same house all of those years"

I didn't make that assumption. If you've owned fewer than 20 years, you wouldn't pay the tax. I've suggested 20 and 25 years or greater owning the current home to qualify for paying the parcel tax. I won't quibble over that number, make it 25 years if you like.

" How many seniors do you estimate there are in Pleasanton that own their home over 20 years times $298 equals what amount of money"

That is a very good question, at least the first part. Where does the $298 come from? We could certainly go with a higher tax than that. As long as the tax brings money into the schools, it will help save programs.

"So, what math or study did you do that says if a senior lives in a house over 20 years that they have little in property taxes to pay?"

There are numerous studies that show they pay substantially less than those who recently purchased equivalent homes. Just read the language of proposition 13 and look at the time value of money for the last 20 years and it is obvious. Make it 25 years and it the difference gets way bigger.

The bottom line is that we can't afford to keep sending wealthy seniors welfare checks and subsidizing their medical care and property taxes at near the levels we do today. It is destroying the budget at all levels of government. Did I mention that Social Security and Medicare are roughly 40% of the current federal budget, and that is expected to rise substantially? That is not sustainable. It is also causing cuts to vital government services such as education, basic medical research, and many others.

A parcel tax targeted at those over 60 years old and owning their homes 25 years would get back some of this money for the education of future generations. It would also be very likely to pass.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm

"Why does government deserve a windfall of new revenue from current homeowners just because some speculative new neighbors decided to overpay for their new home?"

It doesn't, and a proper reform of proposition 13 could easily prevent that.


Posted by Pablo, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 10, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Will never happen Obs., people are taxed to much already. Just keep paying your taxes like everyone else did, has, and will. We want your money and it is ours!!!


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm

To Pablo,

"We want your money and it is ours!!!"

Exactly, you get it. ;-) People getting government handouts act like they are entitled to it. Too bad it is killing government budgets at all levels. It is irresponsible and unsustainable. A seniors only parcel tax, targeted at people who have owned their homes more than 25 years will get some of that back for us, and restore some funding to education. It will also get a lot of votes. There are a lot more of us who won't pay the tax than will.


Posted by Pablo, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Observation,

I paid my way and for the way of others so I do not feel bad at all about you taking your turn and paying the way of others who maybe are not so fortunate as you. You should be happy that you have a good job and the money to pay. As my mom used to say when I complained about pay, "honey, just be glad you make it to pay!" You are wasting your time and very few will vote to feed off of old people..............it is immoral. You mother should wash out your little mouth.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thank you Pablo for calling out the obvious. The generation that came before "observation" paid many trillions of dollars of state and federal income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, FICA and medicare taxes and built a nation that provided 'observation' with public schools, high quality universities, a stable democracy, and the American dream, all from which he has benefitted. Then, he berates the very people who enabled his life style and freedoms while he apparently has not yet paid that much into the system. He clearly is complaining about paying and seems to want the seniors to keep supporting him and his life style.

I hope he keeps posting because he serves as a good foil with his basic position of "soak the seniors, make them keep paying"!


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

To Pablo,

I can't tell if you are kidding or not. Sadly, it sounds like you may be serious. Maybe your mother told you another one that goes something like "beggars can't be choosers". You're asking me to keep paying you Social Security and Medicare, two subsidies that I will probably never see, because they are currently overwhelming the federal budget (currently way bigger than any other program and growing). This is straight wealth transfer and is unsustainable and irresponsible. And you have the audacity to say that you won't pay a modest parcel tax to help maintain our excellent school system to educate future generations. Well, most voters will feel quite differently when they see how this measure is targeted.

"...taking your turn and paying the way of others who maybe are not so fortunate as you..."

Now I know you are either kidding or can't or won't read what I posted above. I was talking about paying Social Security and Medicare to Millionaire seniors living in fancy homes. How is that "not so fortunate as you"?

"You are wasting your time and very few will vote to feed off of old people..............it is immoral."

No, I'll tell you what is immoral. It is immoral to spend 40% (and growing) of the entire federal budget on programs that we can't afford and that we can only pay for by borrowing billions of dollars from the Chinese year after year. We simply don't have the money. And to add insult to injury, there is no means test to these giveaways. We are borrowing billions of dollars to give welfare to people some of whom are millionaires! That is immoral. It is shameful. And people will happily vote to get a small token amount of that money back for education. Enough is enough! No means no! We are generous, but our generosity has limits. We can no longer sit back and allow the educational opportunities and financial well being of future generations to be sacrificed.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Frank,

Sit down, take a breath, and calm down. What I've said may sound harsh, but hearing the truth isn't always easy. Now you're typing in things that don't even make sense.

"...Then, he berates the very people who enabled his life style..."
"... He clearly is complaining about paying and seems to want the seniors to keep supporting him and his life style..."

No Frank, you have the backward. It is my taxes that pay your Social Security and Medicare. It is I who am enabling your lifestyle. You are in no way supporting my lifestyle.

You don't seem to get it. The simple truth is that Medicare and Social Security are out of control, and sinking the United States budget faster than anything else. There is no way we even have a chance of balancing the budget without making cuts to these programs. Too many services are being cut, and fiscal responsibility is being sacrificed. Enough is enough!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 10, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

observation wrote: "And you have the audacity to say that you won't pay a modest parcel tax to help maintain our excellent school system to educate future generations."

You're not making any real argument for anything. I can't read what main point you're trying to make, what you write is so scattered all over the map. It could be that you don't want a parcel tax because your idea of a parcel tax is so ridiculous. Who would really pass a tax on only seniors, most of whom are on a fixed income? Moreover, your idea of a tax that exempts non-seniors gives seniors pause for why they would vote yes for any parcel tax that exempted them. Or it could be that you really want a parcel tax because you trot out the tired old tactic of framing people as cheapskates because they are not interested in paying a new tax, telling them they have some audacity. How in the heck are your arguments supposed to help the schools? Certainly my attempts to be a comedian are nothing compared to yours.

The only real point that's been touched upon in this thread is the fungibility of parcel tax money in a budget.


Posted by Not So Sure, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2010 at 12:25 am

A parcel Tax is not going to pass in these economic times. Each one of us has so many expenses, no matter who we are. Most of us are worried. These are not boom times. Every penny counts because there is so much economic uncertainty in the forseeable future. People in the private sector have either lost a job, taken a lesser position or are terrified of losing their job or their business. Public employees don't seem to understand this new reality.

Keep throwing upwards of 50K on parcel tax studies every couple of years...the only ones benefiting are the research companies.


Posted by GX, a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 11, 2010 at 8:44 am

Do you realize that since the passing of Prop 13, property tax revenue has increased over 600%(google it for yourself if you don't believe me)? Plain and simple, CA has a spending problem not a revenue problem.

We
- are overpaying for prisons, safety personnel (police and fire)
- have too much administration
- have a public employee entitlement system that is crushing all budgets
- have 12% of the nation's population but representing 30% of all entitlement spending
- have roads costing 6x more to build in CA than other state average
- etc. (I could go on an on - again look the facts up yourself if you refute my statements).

Due to the inefficiencies in our current operations, we are potentially starving the investments in our future - top of that list is education. But I like many fed up tax payers don't want to pay another dime (even for education) until some of this mess gets cleaned up.

Again, the facts show we have a major spending/efficiency problem.


Posted by GX, a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

BTW, regarding the 600% property tax revenue increase point, it grew much faster than the baseline of population increase/inflation. Meaning the state got more than its fair share of the economic growth since the passing of Prop 13.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

Fremont passed their parcel tax with 69% in favor.

You can spread false information, slant the ways schools are run at a state/national level to make PUSD look bad, but the reality is our schools are feeling the effects daily after $20 million in cuts. Is this how we prioritize our needs in this community? We are willing to pay millions to "save our hills" but not a penny to the educators who are working daily with our children?

DCOT's motives to make all teachers truly suffer is sick. Any information posted by DCOT will be posted with a personal slant regardless of the changes this district has made due to the city's outcry for shared sacrifice. THe idea of "shared" changes now that PUSD has done their part.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

To 'Really?' - What false information is being spread? Or are you going to start ungrounded personal attacks again and debase the debate?


Posted by Pablo, a resident of Downtown
on Nov 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

Fremonts parcel tax passed years ago in healthier economic times and guess what? Their scores with the exception of MSJ have actually gone down. Don't believe me? Ask our new superintendent as she is from there.


Posted by interesting, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

To really? you say the comments "slant the ways schools are run at a state/national level to make PUSD look bad"

I see some odd comments above, mainly by observation trying to single out the elderly, which is strange. But I don't see anyone singling out PUSD or comparing it badly to the way schools are run at a state/national level. I think most people here recognise the strength of the school system and students here.

I do see comments talking about pay and benefits issues as a bigger picture (not just in schools) and I think there is a general feeling that these need to be addressed before the cities / state ask for more money.

GX talks about some important issues that need investigation and that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency as this state needs to be sustainable for our children to have a real future here. I'm happy to sacrifice in the short term so that my children and their children have a decent place to live and job prospects when it's their turn.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Fremont Unified passed a $53/year parcel tax on 11/2/2010 (Web Link). Berkeley Unified passed one as well. The other 16 school district parcel tax measures in the state of California did NOT pass.


Posted by Glenn Wohltmann, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm

FYI: my piece with details is now on line at Web Link.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

"A parcel Tax is not going to pass in these economic times. Each one of us has so many expenses, no matter who we are. "

You don't get it. A seniors only tax like I'm suggestion will pass because we won't be taxing ourselves, we'll be taxing them! It will only apply to those over 60, and those who have been in their homes over 25 years. It is perfectly fair. It will just be a standard parcel tax with an exemption for non-seniors, and an exemption for those who have lived in their homes fewer than 25 years.


Posted by observation, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm

"You're not making any real argument for anything."

Can you see what I wrote? I'm arguing for a parcel tax with two creative and effective exemptions.

"Moreover, your idea of a tax that exempts non-seniors gives seniors pause for why they would vote yes for any parcel tax that exempted them."

Who said anything about exempting them? That's nuts. They are the problem. They're why I country is buried in debt. Now, remember, I'm not saying that all seniors are bad. I'm just saying they are consuming too much of our tax revenues.

"How in the heck are your arguments supposed to help the schools? "

Because they will increase revenue for the schools. That's an easy one.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Understanding Early Decision in College Admissions
By Elizabeth LaScala | 1 comment | 2,231 views

New heights for NIMBYs
By Tim Hunt | 30 comments | 1,448 views

When those covering the news become the news
By Gina Channell-Allen | 1 comment | 966 views

Earthquake Insurance
By Roz Rogoff | 3 comments | 796 views