District charges forth on parcel tax

As the San Bruno Park School District faces a $1.4 million cut in state funding next year, residents will likely be asked in November to raise their property taxes to help offset the shortage.

The San Bruno Park School District board Wednesday voted 3-2 to have district officials hammer out details on a parcel tax. Unless board members change their minds about the tax, they said the only question left would be how much the tax will be when it is placed before votes on the November ballot.

The parcel tax would be the first ballot measure from the school district since a $30 million bond was passed in 1996, said board member Russ Hanley, who voted in favor of the tax.

“My feeling is, let the people decide whether they want to give us the money or not,” Hanley said.

The tax would be tough to pass if recent trends in the city stand. Residents were asked in November to approve a half-cent sales tax increase, which needed a majority to pass, but that measure narrowly failed. The parcel tax would require two-thirds approval.

“It might be a different story if our economy was better,” said board President Skip Henderson, who voted against the tax. “This economy is not going to turn around in six months.”

The district will research the tax and the board will likely vote on an amount per parcel at its May meeting. Once that amount is determined, the district will know how much it would earn from the tax. No suggestions for the amount of the levy have been made yet.

The $1.4 million in cuts — or 8.2 percent of the district budget — that may come next school year result from a decrease in state funding and could result in services and worker hours being slashed, according to the district.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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