As the school board meeting stretched late last night, San Diego Unified trustees delayed their decision whether to spend $130,000 on a consultant to help gauge the interest in a parcel tax, and then design it if voters seem game.
The idea is meant to draw in added funding for programs and people that can’t be paid for with the $2.1 facilities bond that the school district passed last fall, and help buffer the school district from state cuts. But because it requires a higher percentage of the vote to pass at the ballot box than does a facilities bond, a parcel tax could face an uphill battle at the polls. And it already has brought out some vocal opposition.
Taxpayers Association President Lani Lutar told the board that her group would likely oppose a parcel tax as regressive (all homeowners typically pay the same amount regardless of the value of their property) and unlikely to pass. Lutar also criticized the handling of the facilities bond so far, repeating her argument that spending $20 million in bond funds to lease space for a school in the downtown library would be “a bait and switch” from the elementary school that was discussed during the campaign.
If the school district asked the Taxpayers Association to support the parcel tax, Lutar said, “our response would not only be ‘No,’ it would be, ‘Hell no.’”
The board will take up the parcel tax proposal at a future meeting.