Town Square

Palo Alto voters to decide on schools parcel tax

Original post made on Oct 8, 2020

Measure O would extend a Palo Alto schools parcel tax for six years and provide about $15.6 million annually to the district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 2:26 PM


Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2020 at 10:11 am

Citizen is a registered user.

Pausd just netted $10 million due to school closure savings, and emergency relief funds.

It has refused to report this school year's enrollment, which is reportedly down 7%.

It doesn't need the money, fewer students.

Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 8, 2020 at 10:56 am

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

We are in topsy/turvy times with confusion coming from every direction. When I step back from the turmoil, I see a necessity to invest in future generations. I can easily support this parcel tax.

I have equal concern for more equitable resources flowing to nearby school districts who have fewer resources and greater needs.

Posted by I'm Voting YES On O
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2020 at 11:39 am

I'm Voting YES On O is a registered user.

I'm not sure how the district can respond to Covid without these funds. Now or through recovery.

This is a hard time for all of us, our children and parents and teachers all affected. The teachers are working long hours to recreate entirely new lessons for online learning AND they are trying to plan for the probability of also having to be in class. Parent are making a lot of demands, understandably. But how earth do they think PAUSD will be able to deliver on any of it without this money? Read the budget.

Cuts will come anyway. Property taxes are going to fall--a revenue change that we know is coming but has lagged because it takes time for people to apply for reassessments, but it's clearly coming. This is a very bad time to let the parcel tax fall away.

Stay the course. This is a renewal of a tax that has provided PREDICTABLE funding to the district over many years. I'm voting YES On O. My kids are now out of the district, but still support excellent public school education. I'm in.

Posted by Gunn Papa
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 8, 2020 at 11:55 am

Gunn Papa is a registered user.

It sounds like we are supposed to treat the parcel tax as a permanent tax. Not making a judgment, but I think supporters should just come out and say this.

Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2020 at 3:35 pm

Citizen is a registered user.

PAUSD already spends more than $22k/student/year.

Taxes are already too high, and the teacher's union and other public employee unions seek to pass Prop 15 too, to make taxes even higher and direct more money their way. Our property taxes are sufficient without a parcel tax. Property taxes themselves increased 7% from last year and are up 82% over the past decade.

No on measure O.

Posted by No on O!
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2020 at 5:06 pm

No on O! is a registered user.

Vote No on Measure O!  

The enrollment has been dropping in the past few years, and this year alone, is reportedly down 7%; 

PAUSD just netted $10 million due to school closure savings, and emergency relief funds.

Measure O is less than 7% of the district's budget. With much fewer students, PAUSD doesn't need the money. 

Parcel tax is not supposed to be permanent.  

Posted by They'll always want more
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 8, 2020 at 8:53 pm

They'll always want more is a registered user.

Todd Collins even says that if the measure fails, they'll need to decide when to put it on the ballot again.

So, I say vote NO. If circumstances improve, let the district come back with a new proposal.

Didn't we just approve a $650M Capital Bond last election?

The district is saving money with the schools being closed.
Enrollment is going down
Property tax growth continues to outpace inflation/raises
Many people are trying to cut back on expenses anywhere they can
School district lies about their own economic reality to scare us into approving.
PIE donations continue to grow

Let's see what really happens if they lose this $16M. Do we really think the district will implode having to cut 7% of its budget? I bet they can come up with a good deal of savings just by culling through the administrators at 25 Churchill. Then look at school administrators. Why is it that the only thing they talk about cutting is teachers? Obviously, that's what scares people into voting yes.

Don't fall for the district's scare tactics.

Posted by House poor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2020 at 2:38 am

House poor is a registered user.

As someone whose taxes went up by five figures, suddenly, with the 2017 tax increases on blue state homeowners, which also made it impossible to refinance, I really can't afford this. That tax increase -- just the increase -- is now larger than what we live on every year after mortgage, medical and income tax. I also had to spend over $4,000 to get my kid tested for dyslexia since the school district wouldn't do it.

Our town is a place of dizzying wealth disparity. We've never even been able to replace the paper on our windows. These taxes are not a small amount to us.

I believe in supporting our district, but I wish they would run capital campaigns first. Instead, the district lets billionaires renovate the school their kid will go to, rather than standing by the old-fashioned notion of equity districtwide, and thus they have to ask for this tax.

The tax was originally presented as a short-term need. Last time it never even went to what was promised. The promises in a ballot measure cannot be enforced, and an oversight committee has no real teeth to make sure the money is spent well. That's not what they do, they just make sure that if the district says the spent the money on a building, there's a building.

If Prop 15 passes, and I hope it will, then there will be increased funding for our schools and no need for this extra tax. Please vote NO on O.

Posted by Prop 15 is no substitute for Measure O
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 9, 2020 at 9:42 am

Prop 15 is no substitute for Measure O is a registered user.

My understanding is that Prop 15 passing will mean just $1 million or so to PAUSD each year. The bulk of funds go to districts that need it more. In contrast, the parcel tax - the one that Measure O proposes to extend - yields around $15 million for PAUSD. It is Palo Altans funding Palo Alto schools, which at this point is what the state and county assume.

Housing costs here are outrageous and no longer worth it imo. If you can't sell and move, then consider what shape you want the schools to be in. If enough people won't fund Measure O then our schools (and property values) will suffer.

Posted by No on O!
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 9, 2020 at 9:45 pm

No on O! is a registered user.

The PAUSD 14th Day Enrollment Report, 2020-21 came out today, October 9. We are down 8% this year, continuing a declining trend.

What's the need for a parcel tax that represents 6% of the PAUSD budget when PAUSD has lost 8% of its enrollment? ($15.6 million projected revenue from the parcel tax/ $267 million 2020-21 projected annual budget)

Interesting how timed this was to come out after the weekly article on the parcel tax.

Why is PAUSD announcing its enrollment in a parents only email on a Friday night rather than as an agenda item at a public board meeting, as it has done every year for the past 5 consecutive years? The 10th-14th day enrollment report is not on the Oct. 13th board agenda - Web Link

Vote No on Measure O!

Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2020 at 11:38 am

The Voice of Palo Alto is a registered user.

I will be voting “YES” on Measure O and YES on Measure S and I EXPECT everyone else to vote YES also. Measure S isn’t the greatest plan but I am looking forward to an increase in parcel taxes for all! As far as Measure O, it’s time Palo Altans quiet down, stop complaining, pay those taxes, and most importantly support our great teachers, students, and schools. Time to pay up and enjoy the tax increase. It’s a small price to pay to be able to live in our great city. Again, please vote YES on Measure O and YES on Measure S.

I’m so tired of seeing “No on Measure O” because it rhymes although “Yes on Measure S” also rhymes and I like it because it makes it easy to remember. Just remember to vote YES on both. Thanks.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Greater Miranda

on Oct 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?