Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Mateo County Libraries Voter Guide@SMCLibraries
March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
Distrito especial

Tamalpais Union High School District
Measure B - 2/3 Approval Required

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Resultados electorales

No se aprueba

36,296 votos si (63.84%)

20,563 votos no (36.16%)

100% de distritos activos (79/79).

60,034 boletas electorales serán contadas.

To maintain high quality education with local funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall Tamalpais Union High School District maintain excellent science, technology, engineering, math, reading and writing instruction; attract/retain highly qualified teachers; and support music and art by adopting a measure renewing funding at the current $455 rate and adding $190 per parcel, providing $23 million annually for 10 years, with senior exemptions, cost of living adjustments, independent oversight and all funds for Tamalpais Union High School District students?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Brian E. Washington, Marin County Counsel

If this Measure is approved by two-thirds of the votes cast on this special tax proposal, the Tamalpais Union High School District will be authorized to levy an annual qualified special tax of $645 per parcel of taxable real property, beginning July 1, 2020, for a maximum of 10 years, with 3% annual increases to account for increases in the cost of living. This special tax, if approved by voters, will supersede and replace the existing special taxes authorized by voters as Measure B in November 2011 and Measure J in November 2018, as of July 1, 2020.

The estimated revenue from this tax is approximately $23,000,000 annually. This Measure states that proceeds of the tax will be used for attracting and retaining teachers, maintaining academic and arts programs, and supporting college preparation and career-development programs for students. Proceeds will be controlled locally, reviewed by an independent citizen oversight committee, and may not be used for administrative salaries or benefits.

The Measure provides that exemptions from payment of the special tax may be granted for certain property owners aged 65 years and older as well as certain persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability or Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits.

This Measure was placed on the ballot by the Board of Trustees of the Tamalpais Union High School District.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Vote YES on B to prevent devastating cuts to Tamalpais Union High School District schools.

Drake, Redwood, Tam, San Andreas and Tamiscal High Schools provide an outstanding education to local students, thanks to local funding that provides $16.8 million each year and accounts for 17% of the budget. This expiring local funding keeps qualified and experienced teachers in the classroom and protects high-quality academics. 

Our District has taken every step to manage its budget wisely and just received an AAA credit rating - the highest rating possible - from Moody’s Investors Service when refinancing bonds to save taxpayers $4 million. In the past two years, the District cut nearly $6 million from the budget by cutting administrators, reducing staff and capping benefits. Any further cuts will have a direct impact on the classroom.

In addition, due to rising student enrollment our District needed to hire over 70 teachers - yet no additional funding comes from the State to cover these costs. Furthermore, unfunded State-mandated costs continue to rise. 

This is why your YES vote is important. Measure B renews and increases expiring local funding and prevents devastating cuts equivalent to laying off 114 teachers. Every penny is locally-controlled and directly supports students.

Vote YES on B

• Maintain high-quality science, technology, engineering, math, reading and writing instruction • Attract and retain high-quality teachers

• Support music and art programs

• Maintain college preparation programs

• Maintain career-development and vocational job-training programs 

Oversight and Local Control are Required

• Every penny stays local

• No funds can be taken by the State

• Independent citizen oversight and audits are required

• No funds can support administrator salaries

• Seniors will continue to be eligible for an exemption from the cost

Join parents, teachers, community leaders, seniors and business leaders in voting YES on B to maintain our outstanding schools and prevent teacher layoffs.


RUTH DELL Former trustee Tam Union High School District; former President, Marin School Board Assoc.

WILLIAM LEVINSON 42-year Larkspur resident

EMILY UHLHORN Trustee, Mill Valley School District

STEPHANIE S. HELLMAN Councilmember, Town of Fairfax

SKIP LOVELADY 25-year Redwood HS Science Teacher

Argumento EN CONTRA

Voters should reject Measure B, an unfair and unaffordable ten-year parcel tax renewal and dramatic increase. Your taxes start at $645 a year, increasing 3% annually, reaching $842 in

10 years. Up from $300 just 2 years ago.

• Voters passed a $149 second parcel tax for TUHSD in 2018 (on top of the larger existing one). TUHSD is adding back costs reduced just last year and wants another $190!

• Measure B is unfair because it’s a flat rate. A studio pays the same as a mansion, mall or apartment complex.

• TUHSD says this tax hike request was always part of the plan. This was not disclosed to voters who approved Measure J 16 months ago.

• Rising enrollment is the supposed reason for a higher tax. But their own study shows enrollment declines start in 3 years.

• No 10-year financial forecast justifies the proposed 10-year tax.

• Pension expenses are why we’re facing so many tax measures. TUHSD must lobby Sacramento for reform instead of hitting homeowners with increasing parcel taxes.

• Seniors and medically disabled: Though you can get an exemption from this tax, it DOES harm you. Your friends, neighbors, and caregivers are forced out by unaffordability. Your kids can’t live nearby. Higher taxes don’t help property values, and they threaten your quality of life.

Don’t believe threats of teacher layoffs and rising class sizes. Current parcel taxes don’t expire until 2022, giving the District time to rethink its needs and present a fairer, more affordable proposal.

The Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers supported 2018’s Measure J as a 4-year urgent measure for a school district threatened by insolvency. With 2018 Measure J’s $5 million annual infusion, TUHSD hasn’t made the case for a much higher tax lasting 10 years. CO$T OPPOSES Measure B.


Mimi Willard, President

COST Director and former Grand Juror

Retired affordable housing director, and tax oversight committee member

COST Director and former San Anselmo Town Councilmember

Parent of 2 Redwood graduates

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

Only a year ago, voters approved a $149 Tam Union parcel tax increase for four years. Now, with almost identical promises and threats, they say they need $190 more. It’s too much. Vote No.

Tam Union is already reversing much-touted expense cuts. Of two senior management positions eliminated, one is being added back. Also being reversed: much of the $1 million savings achieved by ending non-classroom “Teacher Leader” payments. 

Tam Union’s enrollment begins long-term DECLINE in two years. This should mean fewer teachers and administrators, not more. If Measure B passes, ALL $645 (plus 3% escalators) of Tam Union parcel taxes will be in place for a new TEN-YEAR term.

Yet Tam Union claims enrollment increases are why they need more money. 

The truth: Tam Union’s 2020 pension expenses are $5 million higher than they would have been without a 2013 state mandate making local districts pay more for their pension liabilities.

The truth: $5 million annually is what the November 2018 supplemental parcel tax raised.

Moreover, the proposed flat parcel tax is unfair. 

Measure B forces a studio condo owner to pay as much as the mall!

Tam Union’s parcel tax should be per building square foot. If uniformly applied to all parcels, that’s fair and legal for school taxes. 

The proposed Marin County Wildfire Protection Parcel Tax Measure, which the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers endorsed, is essentially per building square foot.

Tam Union has two-plus years on its current parcel taxes to reform spending and propose a fairer tax measure that ensures extra money goes into classrooms. 

Help make this happen. VOTE NO.

Community Organizer

Parent of former Redwood student and lawyer

Retired official court reporter

Docent Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Greenbrae resident

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Don’t be fooled by the opponents. If Measure B does not pass, the District will need to immediately implement cuts for next school year to prevent insolvency in the immediate future. Teachers and academic programs will be cut.

Here are the facts:

• Student enrollment has risen by 35% in the past 10 years, with no additional state or federal funding to serve those students.

• While student enrollment will peak in 2022, it is not forecasted to go down to historic levels for the foreseeable future. We will need to continue serving a larger student population – which requires teachers and staff.

• The District’s budget and planning process are open to the public. Without Measure B, our schools face significant cuts and the District risks insolvency. Review the budget here:

• The District, along with others across the State, continues to lobby Sacramento to reduce pension costs. However, these costs are State mandated and are not negotiable. The District is obligated to pay them.

• Voting “no” on Measure B would not send a message to Sacramento or change State policy. It would only hurt students in Drake, Redwood, Tam, San Andreas and Tamiscal High Schools.

• Measure B includes every available exemption allowed under the law, including exemptions for seniors, those receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability and those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance who are on a low income.

Measure B is necessary to prevent layoffs equivalent to 114 teachers. Join trusted community leaders and vote YES on B. 

Co-owner, Book Passage

22-year Corte Madera resident, Realtor, Parent of RHS grad

17-year Corte Madera resident, Parent of 3 RHS students

Executive Director of Bridge the Gap College Prep

46-year resident

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