Island poll: Parcel tax poll results
The results are in on The Island’s parcel tax poll: Seventy-two percent of you said you’d vote in favor of the replacement school parcel tax heading for a May-June ballot. The measure will ultimately need the approval of two-thirds of voters to pass.
Twenty-eight percent of the 149 voters in the poll said they’d vote against the tax, which would replace the current Measure A and Measure H taxes with a new one that would cost homeowners $659 a year for eight years and commercial property owners 13 cents per square foot of lot per parcel, with a cap of $9,500 a parcel. (The mail-only ballot for the tax, dubbed, Measure E will go out in late May and be due in by June 22.)
Turns out you had a lot to say about your vote, too.
Proponents said they want quality schools in Alameda both for the kids and to help maintain property values. And they said Alameda Unified has clearly made its case for why it needs the money and how it will be spent to maintain a quality education.
“I’m going to vote for the parcel tax because our schools need the money. The Alameda USD is very lean organization compared to other schools and has done an admirable job of making more from less,” said Lori. “The proposed parcel tax is modest and much needed. It is time to realize that we can no longer rely on the state for adequate funding and take matters into our own hands.”
“I will be voting YES. Our schools are among our most important community resources, and they are at serious risk today,” commenter Brad said. “The replacement parcel tax proposal is the product of a thoughtful, collaborative Master Plan process. It asks homeowners to provide $1 more per day than they currently pay under A/H to prevent draconian cuts in the schools. There is an exemption for our senior citizens. Businesses will pay less than they currently pay under A/H.”
Opponents said they think the district can and should find other ways to raise the money before asking the voters for more. And they said the school system is too irreparably broken to save, even with more money.
“Alameda’s school district has excess capacity which can either be consolidated or sold off. Once this is done and we still need more money, then I’ll vote yes,” Espresso911 wrote.
“There are or were great schools here, really? Where?? The private schools maybe,” H. Ewert said. “So, if you have a broken faucet–throw money at it–does not fix it. The schools need fixing–not money thrown at them.”
Commenter Steve said that even though he’s “getting pretty grumpy” about rising taxes, fees and tolls during what may arguably be one of the worst economies our country has ever faced, he’s going to “hold (his) nose” and vote yes because he believes the schools do need the money. (He also said he got a property tax reduction last year, which would cushion the blow of the $350 increase he’d face under the new tax.)
“My gut tells me that the public sector hasn’t even begun to do the necessary belt-tightening that’s been going on in the private sector for the last two to three years. And each time budget cuts are discussed, we hear a dozen reasons why such cuts will bring about the end of the world as we know it,” he wrote. “I don’t mean to single out AUSD by any means – this is happening on a national and state level as well. But my patience is wearing thin and I don’t know how many more of these parcel taxes I’ll vote for.”
The poll is closed, but we’d still love to know what you think. So feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below.