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PUSD: Seniors only need register once for parcel tax exemption

Original post made on Apr 21, 2011

Pleasanton school district's administration has addressed one of the objections to its $98 parcel tax measure, known as Measure E. Opponents of the measure have said seniors would have to register every year to receive an exemption; the school administration confirmed Wednesday that is no longer the case.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 21, 2011, 1:48 PM

Comments (36)

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Posted by comment
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like the district was responsive to the communities needs, as usual.

Yes on Measure E.


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Posted by Steven
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Sounds like the district was responsive and trying to protect their own greedy needs, as usual.

NO on Measure E


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

But we'll hang on to those S&C raises!

No on "E".


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Posted by not so fast
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The parcel tax wording that was turned in to the registrar's office has the provision that they have to register every year. The Registrar of Voter for Alameda County has verified that the language cannot be changed since it was submitted. So is this article a joke? Or is the district not following the law here?


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Posted by Guess they'll SAY anything?
a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

What happened to the money from the last tax, and the California Lottery?


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Posted by reply from district
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm

"We are from the government and here to help. Trust us."


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm

That pretty much seems to fit the we just make it up as we go along approach PUSD seems to take to spending (and the rules).


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Posted by Sierra
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

What age do you have to be for the exemption?


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Las Positas
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

It seems to me 4 years isn't that long and it's for the kids and our community. If they can't get their pension reform done in 4 years then shame on them and don't expect any more support. Pension reform can't be accomplished overnight due to existing contracts. And as for S&C increases, I think the furlough was a much better idea. Every teacher was impacted and not just the junior teachers. These junior teachers are the teachers I wanted to have teach my kids.

Yes on E


 +   Like this comment
Posted by reply from district
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

"What age do you have to be for the exemption? "

We can change this any time we want, just like changing the requirement of applying for an exemption each year. So this year it might be age 65, next year we might change to 68. We are the government and we can do whatever we want.


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Posted by Longtime resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

Love the attitude and moving target No on E people share here- a major complaint that seniors had to reapply each year was quite a vocal point in your rebuttal- now that you have it your way, still not happy. Seems like youre out to "win" your political point, not a win for our children's education.

This moving target has been the reason I do not trust a word the no people spread- you definitely helped convince me which way to vote.

YES on E- thanks PUSD for listening to the public requests and meeting the community needs.


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Posted by BIG PUSD Donator
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:19 am

NO ON E!!!!
I donate a lof of $$$ to the schools. Will stop completely if E passes. Taxing is NOT the solution to a poorly operated school district.

NO ON E!!!


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

"I donate a lot of $$$ to the schools. Will stop completely if E passes."

Uh, huh. Here we have someone who stamps himself with the title "BIG PUSD Donator" who is up in arms over a $98 per year parcel tax for the schools. Yeah, sure, we believe you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

Agree with longtime resident:

YES on E- thanks PUSD for listening to the public requests and meeting the community needs.


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Posted by optimistic mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hi Sierra,

Individuals who own their homes and will be 65 by July 1, 2012, are eligible to apply for the exemption. Also eligible are homeowners who receive social security disability.

Individuals who turn 65 in subsequent years (2013, 2014, 2015) can apply for an exemption at that time.

Exemption forms are available now on the district website -- you can file now, even though we are not sure if the measure will pass.

Web Link


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I think it's wonderful news that should help the seniors. Good for the seniors for making your view known and good for PUSD for changing this. I hope some seniors will choose to donate, but I'm glad you don't have the hassle of filling in a form every year if you choose not to.


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Posted by changing
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

The big issue that is here is how can you trust the district?

They put a ballot measure on the ballot with specific language. Now they are saying "never mind, pay no attention to that legal document you are voting on, we have a better idea."

Don't they realize how illegal that is?

Is the district above the law? The ballot language is law. If they change ANY implementation part of it, they are going above the law. It does not make a difference in what they are doing is better or worse for the taxpayer, they are making a change of a legal document, without having all of the signers of the document approve the change.

Our district's purpose it to educate out children and be role models. They have just set up a great lesson. Do not believe anything the government says. Or, the government is above the law.

The district administration should be ashamed of themselves.


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Posted by Longtime resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

It seems like you're the one teaching that lesson- in print here for all to read. Have you called the district to ask for clarification about the ballot language, have you called Alameda County Registrars to get the accurate interpretation of the ballot language and the reasoning behind this information?

The people of this community complained about this very issue, now that the district answered this complaint, so you've switched the complaint to "we can't trust them"?

It sounds like your personal issue with trust. When I complain to the private sector businesses about their service- nothing changes, you get what you get. Here the district is more than cooperative and open to the needs of the community, and you dont trust this?

Again, thank you PUSD for meeting the requests of the community. You continue to show us that you are listening to the needs of seniors. THis is trustworthy actions which speak louder than the moving target of complaints some keep throwing at you.


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Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thank you long time resident. I was going to type basically the same thing but you beat me to it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

How about not buying senior votes with an exemption in the first place? I bet the per parcel costs to administer the exemption and filing exceed $98 per parcel.


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Posted by Get the facts:
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Because, Stacey, many seniors WANT to pay the parcel tax. My parents and my in-laws included.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Huh? Seniors who want to pay can vote yes on a parcel tax without an exemption.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Stacey said " I bet the per parcel costs to administer the exemption and filing exceed $98 per parcel."

I doubt it. What would they have to do to exempt someone? Examine their driver's license, note the birthdate, and punch a few keys on a computer to note that the person is exempt from the parcel tax? Doesn't sound like a lot of work to me.

For comparison, a US Passport renewal fee is $60, and that involves the examination of a lot more paperwork and requires the collection of the old passport AND the printing of a brand new passport (including an identification microchip in the new passports, I believe). Again, the fee for all that is $60. I think that you would lose your bet.


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

This issue with the arbitrary change regarding the mechanism of exemption is the devastating injury it does to the force of the measure. If the district feels that it can change the exemption mechanism, then it follows that any part of the measure may be changed at will without regard to the wording that is being voted on.

Bad move, regardless of which side of the issue you are on.


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Posted by Nancy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

It was the lies and distortions from the no side people like "Mike" that led me to vote Yes on Measure E. The district responds to the community in a positive way and all "Mike" can do is find fault. Sad.


Yes on Measure E.


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Posted by reply from district
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

The District announced today that they will not be allowing senior exemptions. All seniors have to pay.


We are from the government. We can change things whenever we want.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

A few things: processing the paperwork does take a lot of staff time. Doing annual follow ups without annual filings is going to take staff time. How will they verify each person is alive and still owns the property?

But still the bigger issue is that Parcel Taxes promise to raise $x million for the district. If you get filings for $100,000 in exemptions, that $100,000 is supposed to be backfilled from another pot of district money, usually the General Fund. Don't know if they found a way around that in the resolution and ballot language. I hope the committee will be following that.


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Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I don't some people get it. You cannot have automatic raises when times are tough.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Mike said:"This issue with the arbitrary change regarding the mechanism of exemption is the devastating injury it does to the force of the measure. If the district feels that it can change the exemption mechanism, then it follows that any part of the measure may be changed at will without regard to the wording that is being voted on."

You're hilarious, Mike. You're up in arms because they decided to modify the implementation of the senior exemption to make it easier on seniors so they don't have to reapply each year? That's it? That's the best you can come up with?


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Mike said:"This issue with the arbitrary change regarding the mechanism of exemption is the devastating injury it does to the force of the measure. If the district feels that it can change the exemption mechanism, then it follows that any part of the measure may be changed at will without regard to the wording that is being voted on."

A quick follow-up: The reason your protest is so ridiculous is because you can't show that anyone was harmed by this change of procedure. The fact that they change the exemption procedure for seniors has no possible effect on my "yes" or "no" vote or that of any other non-senior. The only people whose vote could be possibly affected by this are seniors. OK, so let's look at that: If I'm a senior and vote "yes", is there any way that I could reasonably claim to have been deceived and say that I would have changed my vote to "no" had I known that they would change the exemption requirement from annually to just a one-time check? Nope. Sorry, you haven't got a leg to stand on.

(P.S.: I skipped past the scenario of a senior who votes "no" and then finds out about the change because I didn't want to drag this post on. But if you think through it you'll find that that scenario doesn't help your case either.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Apr 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Sam,

The process is important. If you wish to change the conditions of a measure that is being put to a vote, you need to rewrite and resubmit it.

Arbitrary change is the problem, not whether the content of that change is good or bad, because arbitrary change is the very antithesis of guaranteed protection.


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Posted by Longtime resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Kathleen, with your experience on the subject, I'm surprised by your response since Palo Alto seems to not have a problem making seniors reapply every year and following up on it. Oh, and by the way, the parcel tax language for your district sure is vague for the $589 they are collecting per parcel.

Web Link
"On May 4, 2010, voters approved a Measure A Parcel Tax assessment of $589 per parcel for six years. Parcel Tax funds allow Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) to pay higher salaries and to maintain current programs and targeted class size reduction. The tax expires after six years...Exemptions from the $589 PAUSD Parcel Tax are available to senior citizens (65 years or older) who own and occupy, as a principal residence, a parcel and apply to the District for exemption."

"The Business Office annually mails an Exemption Renewal Form at the beginning of April to everyone who received an exemption or a refund this year. "


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I don't get to vote in Palo Alto.

Yes, seniors apply annually there. I was pointing out the fact that it does take a lot of staff time--forms are mailed to seniors; seniors send them back; many hand carry them in. I'm not particularly in favor of the exemptions because of their potential impacts to the general fund, but I also don't particularly care what the process is to get the exemption either.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm

PUSD CUT YOUR SPENDING !!!!!!!!


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

PUSD JUST KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK!!! TOP TEST SCORES AND EXCELLENT EDUCATION!!!

YES ON MEASURE E!


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

An Easter Sermon about Parcel Taxes

Web Link


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