Thursday, March 17, 2011

Measure E - Do the Math, Part Two

One argument Measure E supporters make is that a $98 annual parcel tax is equivalent to 27 cents a day. Then by some form of logic, if you are against this tax, you are a cold-hearted rigid tea party ideologue (or worse). 

Some opponents of Measure E say 'it is not about the money, in fact, the tax should be larger.' Leading to some very interesting conversations.

Well, it is about the money. Lots of money. PUSD's 2010-11 total revenue is $142 million dollars or $389,000 a day.

Where does PUSD get $142 million dollars?

From YOU. From your federal taxes, state income taxes, local property taxes, sales taxes, fees, and anything that puts your money in the federal and state government coffers.

Let's do the math.

With 52,000 residents in Pleasanton over the age of 18, the average adult is paying $2,700 a year to fund the local school. The average married couple pays $5,400. If you have a house, two kids and cars, you likely pay far more than the average. And you've been paying an additional $1,400 more per year to the state via the 2009 temporary taxes, and the reduced dependent exemption.

So when your favorite teacher, union boss, or school parcel tax advocate says to you that you are a cheap, miserly, penny pinching weasel who doesn’t support the kids, remind them that you already support the kids and fund the entire school budget of $142 million dollars. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Measure E - Do the Math, Part One

Measure E supporters have a history of claiming the parcel tax will protect property values. Let's look closer at the numbers and 'Do the Math'.

The 'Protect Property Values' claims.

The second line of the Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) resolution says "Whereas, property values within the District are related to the quality of education available in the District's public schools." PUSD also claims in the first section of their four-page color glossy mailer, excellent schools are "creating a demand for homes and protecting our property values".  In an almost verbatim claim in the first paragraph on their website, Support Pleasanton Schools (SPS) says good schools are "creating demand for our homes and protecting property values."

Pleasanton has $16 Billion in residential property market value.

The Alameda County Assessor reports Pleasanton has a local assessment roll of $17,326,290,380.
That's $17 BILLION. If you remove the business property component (25% average in Alameda County), and account for residential market value vs assessed value (add 25%), you would reach a residential property market value of $16.24 Billion.

What will a $2 million parcel tax provide?

If we assume the entire $2 million is spent on NEW teachers, it could fund twenty-five teachers at an average $80,000 cost.
That's 1.7 teachers per school by placing those 25 teachers in the 15 schools.
Or one teacher per 600 students throughout the district.
Therefore, each student in Pleasanton will receive approximately 2 more hours of teacher attention per year.
Or about 36 seconds a day.

If the $2 million is used to fund employee step salary increases and higher longevity bonuses, then our children will have no benefit from this parcel tax.

Can anyone honestly say that $2 million will protect $16 billion in property value?