Economics 101: Supporters of two parcel tax measures in Peninsula cities aimed to offset state cuts in education funding. (Mike Koozmin/The Examiner)

Burlingame, Pacifica appear to endorse parcel taxes to fund schools

Pacifica and Burlingame voters appeared to pass separate parcel tax measures on Tuesday, based on unofficial results, to raise funds to run their school districts.

Both parcel taxes aim to raise money for school operations at a time when state funding has dwindled.

The Pacifica School District’s Measure L was designed to pay for library services, classroom computer instruction, the retention and attraction of qualified teachers and student achievement in math, science, reading and writing programs, according to district reports.

The $118 parcel tax would raise $1.2 million a year and last five years, from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2017, Superintendent Wendy Tukloff said. It would replace an existing $96 parcel tax that raises $1 million a year, Tukloff added.

The district has faced a 10 percent cut in state funding, or $1.7 million a year, she said.

State Assemblyman Jerry Hill and San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley both endorsed the measure.

Burlingame Elementary School District’s Measure E would fund math, science and English instruction, including science labs, help to retain quality teachers and small class sizes, and purchase classroom supplies, according to district reports.

The tax would cost property owners $76 per parcel for the next four years, and raise $585,000 a year, or about 2.5 percent of the district’s $22 million in annual expenditures, said Maggie MacIsaac, chief business official for the district.

The Burlingame Community Education Foundation and the district’s PTA Council, which last spring launched a joint campaign to raise one-time funds for the district, both endorsed Measure E.

District officials said the parcel taxes help maintain property values, since quality schools draw homebuyers.

Senior citizens and disabled persons receiving Supplemental Security Income would be exempt from both taxes, which each required a two-thirds voter approval to pass.

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