Consultants gauge support for San Carlos school tax

A political research firm hired by the San Carlos School District has been working the phones this week to gauge whether residents are willing to stick with a parcel tax that brings in $1 million annually for local schools.

The district is hoping to convince voters to renew the 7-year-old Measure D parcel tax, which costs property owners $110 a year, before it expires in June.

School district trustees have yet to formally decide whether to put a measure on the ballot, though the district’s hiring of polling firm Godbe Research is the latest sign that a renewal measure appears likely. Also, a group of parents has quietly been lining up donors and organizing a campaign.

“It would certainly be difficult to imagine, from my point of view as well as community members’ points of view, losing $1 million a year out of our budget, given the financial conditions of the last few years,” said Trustee Seth Rosenblatt. Trustees cut $3 million out of this year’s $23 million budget.

The phone interviews conducted by Godbe, which is being paid between $15,930 and $19,950, will run through next week and will test ballot language in addition to voters’ support for a potential measure, including support for various extension lengths. Trustees will likely make a decision on a ballot measure in January with an eye on a springtime election, Superintendent Craig Baker said.

“It has to be before June because that’s when it sunsets,” Baker said.

Rosenblatt said he has heard anecdotally from community members who support the parcel tax renewal, though he is reserving judgment until he sees Godbe’s report.  

“I want to basically wait until we get the results,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s clearly not my decision, it’s the decision of the whole board.”

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

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