Trustees considering parcel tax

PACIFICA — Drawing on reserves and grant money in recent years, the Pacifica School District will likely go out for a parcel tax on the city’s property owners to make up for inequities in state funding.

Local real estate agents are hesitant about the tax’s potential success at the polls and questioned whether it was the best way to bring funds to the district’s coffers. However, District Superintendent Jim Lianides said officials are hopeful that the recent approval of the Jefferson Union High School District bond measure was “symbolic of the community’s support for education.”

At its Wednesday meeting, the school district board is considering a $96 annual parcel tax over five years that would not differentiate between commercial and residential parcels, Lianides said.

The tax, if passed next May, would bring an estimated $960,000 annually to the district’s budget.

“Either we’re able to get an infusion of extra cash or we’re going to have to initiate cutbacks for next year,” Lianides said, adding that the biggest part of their troubles was “inadequate funding from the state.”

Over the past six years, the district has cut $1.2 million in expenses, all the while continuing to perform at a high level, the superintendent said.

According to data from 2004-2005, Pacifica School District spends the second least of all San Mateo County school districts, spending $6,571 on each of the district’s roughly 3,100 students. It is 10th, however, out of the 23 school districts countywide in the state’s Academic Performance Index.

“We needed to show our community that we were spending their money wisely, which is what we’ve done,” Board President Joan Weideman said when asked why to seek a parcel tax now.

In addition to teacher training, the district wants the parcel tax, if approved, to attract and retain quality teachers, enhance its library services and prevent additional cutbacks to instructional programs, Lianides said.

Paul Benson, a real estate agent with Pacific Coast Real Estate, said he’d most likely support it but he had a “little bit of a sour taste” in his mouth after Measure L, the Rockaway Quarry measure that was voted down.

“Some balanced growth and development will expand the tax base, and that would preclude having a parcel tax for necessary services,” Benson said.

Re/Max Dolphin real estate agent Scott Findlay worried about past public outcry against such taxes, but said that the $96 per parcel tax wouldn’t impact the real estate market.

The Pacifica School District board will consider putting the parcel tax to a May 2007, all-mail ballot at its meeting Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the district offices, 375 Reina del Mar Ave. in Pacifica.

dsmith@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Musician shot by off-duty FBI agent on Haight Street speaks out

Man thought official was a ‘fake cop’

Emails reveal another FBI suspect may have given Mayor Breed a gift

onguard Mere days after Mayor London Breed revealed she took a potentially… Continue reading

Video shows angry 49ers fan throwing items at cashier on Super Bowl Sunday

San Francisco police are asking the public for help identifying an aggressive… Continue reading

New plan provides a road map to better transit for Bayview residents

SFMTA to review suite of 101 projects designed to improve community safety and access

Mandelman bringing bathhouses back to The City

New ordinance would amend health code restrictions imposed in 1980s

Most Read