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School District to Spend Over $43,000 With Parcel Tax Campaign Consultant

The school district is accepting applicants for a spending advisory panel. (File Photo)

The Alameda Unified School District contracted with Public Finance Strategies to strategize on an upcoming parcel tax. (File Photo)

Alameda residents may have received telephone calls in the past week testing their appetite for a school parcel tax. The Alameda Unified School District contracted with Public Finance Strategies of San Francisco for $26,500 to work on a parcel tax ballot measure for the November 2016 ballot.

Through February, readers reported to Action Alameda News that they had received telephone calls surveying their opinion about a potential parcel tax at $499 per year, than at $699 and then back at $499.

It’s unclear if the proposed tax would replace the one voters approved in 2011, which was scheduled to run for seven years.

Chief among the tasks that the consultancy signed-up for was to develop a feasbility study to:

  1. Develop potential parcel tax strategies to meet Client’s funding needs to be tested in polling;
  2. Collaborate with EMC Research to design, conduct and analyze an opinion survey of voters in the District to assess the feasibility of a parcel tax measure (public opinion poll pricing listed in Exhibit 1);
  3. Conduct a demographic analysis of voters in the District and how they break into key sub-groups by age, ethnicity, political party, length of residency, parents and other key criteria;
  4. Analyze past election results in the District and region to understand voter turnout trends and other relevant voting patterns;
  5. Research other local tax proposals that may be heading to an upcoming ballot that could compete with Client’s Parcel Tax Measure; and
  6. Make specific recommendations regarding the optimal election date, election type (polling place or mail-in), tax rate, tax structure and other important Parcel Tax Measure features.

The contract also calls for the firm to develop the ballot measure itself and conduct a public information campaign.

The campaign calls for another $17,073 to be spent on a mailed brochure to roughly 25,000 “voter and parent households.”

In 2010, the Fair Political Practices commission issued a warning to the school district over a similar informational mailer that cost more than $10,000, pertaining to a parcel tax campaign that year.

1 comment to School District to Spend Over $43,000 With Parcel Tax Campaign Consultant

  • Mickey

    Let the renters pay the tax they are the one that got a break this year not the home owners. A full one third of my property tax bill is special assessments that renters voted in to benefit themselves.

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