Action Alameda News has obtained copies of the ballot arguments both in-favor and opposed to Measure A, Alameda Unified School District’s parcel tax ballot measure scheduled for the ballot on March 8th, 2011. Arguments were filed with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters office late last week; both arguments are reproduced in their entirety below.
Measure A Proponent Ballot Argument
Alameda schools are a point of pride for our community. Test scores on state exams are strong and improving each year. Students graduate ready for college and career.
But our schools continue to face unprecedented state funding cuts.
AUSD administrative costs are already among the lowest in the county, and the district has been continuing to streamline operations.
But even with these efficiencies, our schools are facing severe program cuts.
Measure A is the result of Alameda community leaders, businesses, parents and seniors coming together to make sure that we keep our schools and Alameda on the right track.
Measure A will:
- Support small K-3 class sizes and neighborhood elementary schools
- Attract and retain excellent teachers
- Protect athletic programs
- Protect core academic programs and Advanced Placement courses
- Support programs to close the achievement gap and provide equitable educational opportunities
Our current parcel taxes expire next year, eliminating funding for crucial academic and enrichment programs. However, if Measure A passes, it will replace our existing parcel taxes immediately – and a new 7-year measure will be in place to protect those important programs.
A citizen oversight committee, three annual reports, and an annual audit ensures all funds are spent as promised. Every penny stays in Alameda.
Seniors are eligible for an exemption, and seniors exempt from current school parcel taxes will automatically be exempt from this Measure.
Alameda is a special place to live because of its strong sense of community and the importance we place on supporting our young people. We must act locally to support our schools in our community. vote YES ON A.
Measure A Opponent Ballot Argument
32 to 1 Ain’t Fair!
Homeowners and small businesses will pay 32 cents per square foot while big business will pay anywhere from 8 cents to as little as 1 cent.
“A” ain’t fair!
Big business, with hundreds of millions of dollars of annual sales, will get a 16% tax cut paid for by homeowners and small businesses who will see a massive tax increase!
According to AUSD, the average homeowner’s parcel tax will see a 65% increase. A homeowner with a 2,000 square foot home will see their tax more than double. Some homes will see their tax quadruple.
AUSD is trying to hide the tax increase from you. They have refused to put up a web site so you can look up exactly how much you would pay. But we have! Go to www.Alameda-No-On-A.com.
The School Board lied last year and said that schools would close if Measure E failed. Measure E failed and no schools closed. Now they are crying “Wolf” again. Why should we believe them this time?
“A” discriminates against some students!
Roughly 12% of Alameda’s public school students will be in charter schools next year, but charter schools get only 3% of the funds. All students should be funded equally.
Our federal tax system is progressive: the more money you make the greater percent you pay. But Measure A is the opposite and was written by and for big business. This is a regressive tax, increasing taxes on homeowners and small business owners so that big business gets a big break.
“A” is a re-tread of the mistakes of past parcel taxes.
Unfair, regressive taxation, favoring some students over others, Measure A repeats the mistakes of Measure H, which is still in court.
Measure A must be defeated!
32 to 1 Ain’t Fair!