Alameda School District Asks for Tax Measures With Increasing Frequency

In recent years, the Alameda Unified School District has been asking voters to approve tax measures with increasing frequency, but there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding increase in the level of efficacy of Alameda schools.

In 1997, the district asked for a four-year $50 parcel tax which voters did not approve.

In 2001, voters approved a $109 parcel tax, which was increased to $189 in 2005, and extended for seven years.

In 2004, voters approved a $63 million tax bond measure (Measure C) which ballooned in total cost to three times that amount, due to the use of Capital Appreciation Bonds, which defer interest payments. Those bonds will burden Alameda families for decades to come.

In 2008, the district asked voters to approve Measure H, another, more complex, parcel tax. Ultimately, the courts ruled that part of this tax – the levy on commercial property – was illegal, and that the district would have to provide tax refunds. That process is still playing out, but is expected to cost the district millions of dollars.

In 2010, the district tried to replace measures A and H with a new parcel tax (Measure E) – and correct the mistakes made with Measure H, but voters rejected the measure.

Undeterred, the district plowed ahead in 2011 with Measure A, another complicated tax structure that levies 32 cents per square building foot on property. Strangely, the district capped the annual payment at $7,999 per year, which benefits commercial property owners at the expense of homeowners. The measure squeaked by. It was set for seven years.

Now, in 2014, the district wants voters to approve a $180 million tax bond measure; the $180 million amount is sure to grow to $200 million and beyond, when interest payments over the expected 25 year repayment period is factored in.

And the district is already planning a replacement parcel tax for the last one.

Alameda families are burdened with too much student debt, and they are tired of the district coming back to ask for money over and over again.

Measure I is Irresponsible – No more student debt!

Vote No on I.