Commentary: Examining the Feasibility of a Parcel Tax

Somewhat lost in the midst of the election is the ongoing discussion over a possible parcel tax.

One of the key issues that the district faces is the ability to control its own revenue sources. This is actually a statewide problem because as budget revenues statewide get tight, schools feel the pinch.

Right now though the GOP on a national level seems reluctant to admit it, this is one of the worst economic times I can remember in the past 25 years. You have a disastrous housing market which will lower the amount of property tax revenue to schools. You have a basic crisis with gas prices which finally threatening to spread to the rest of the economic sphere.

As Bruce Colby, CBO of Davis Joint Unified noted, the state budget in the face of this recession with be challenge for a number of years. This means that there will be fluctuating amounts of state money coming to school districts.

Despite recent budget crises of its own, Davis Joint Unified is actually in better position than most school districts to weather this storm.

First, they have a strong support base locally that has provided them with a parcel tax.

Second, when a crisis did arise this year, the Davis Schools Foundation was able to raise an additional $1.7 million.

As bad as things looked in January and February, we are getting off almost unscathed in June.

But the problem is that while the Davis Schools Foundation was able to raise $1.7 million this year, it is a one-time influx of money, to help the district on an emergency basis.

According to Bruce Colby’s numbers, an annual parcel tax of $80 would raise the equivalent amount of the $1.7 million. That is $80 on top of what people approved just seven months ago in November.

Will voters in bad economic times be willing to pay out an additional $80? Hard to say.

But there are more complicating factors. Because of the fact this is a Presidential Election, we can expect between 77 and 80 percent voter turnout in Davis. Last year, the turnout was in the 20s for the school board election. Many of those people were committed to school issues and that is why they tend to look toward those type of elections to place the parcel tax that required two-thirds of the voters to approve it.

Given a wider audience, we have to have look to see if that general election electorate will be as supportive of a parcel tax as others.

On the other hand, I think that the electorate is engaged on this issue. As we talked to community members, the schools along with national issues were tops on people’s minds. Still this would have to be a leap of faith. And it is a fight that the district cannot afford to lose. We know what an additional $1.7 million in budget cuts look like. It is not a scare tactic to suggest that if they lose, they will be laying off 100 teachers. It is unfortunately the truth.

I know the district will look into their options and will be carefully planning their course. That is the wise and prudent thing to do, but at some point, I think they have to recognize that they really have no other choice and they are going to have to get good polling to tell them how to pitch this to the public.

We cannot in the end, I think, punish our children for the mistakes that adults have made. The district has worked very hard to get its fiscal house in order, and I think they deserve a shot to not have to lay off 100 teachers.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Elections

128 comments

  1. There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.

    2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.

    3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.

    4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?

    5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.

    6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?

    And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.

    What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain

  2. There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.

    2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.

    3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.

    4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?

    5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.

    6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?

    And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.

    What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain

  3. There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.

    2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.

    3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.

    4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?

    5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.

    6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?

    And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.

    What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain

  4. There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.

    2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.

    3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.

    4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?

    5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.

    6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?

    And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.

    What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain

  5. Give the kids a break! – how regressive is an $80 (tax deductible) parcel tax? This amounts to eliminating one restaurant trip per year, to a cheap restaurant.

    We, as a State, have done a very poor job of funding education so local communities have to do something. There is an immediate need for the money and there really is no alternative to this tax. Davis is spending close to the state average cost per student so it is unlikely that funds are being wasted in any significant way.

    Yes, Davis could pull it’s head out of the ground and find better funding sources, but that will take years. The need is now!

    Davis relies on education for it’s existence. The community can afford to put a little more money into education.

  6. Give the kids a break! – how regressive is an $80 (tax deductible) parcel tax? This amounts to eliminating one restaurant trip per year, to a cheap restaurant.

    We, as a State, have done a very poor job of funding education so local communities have to do something. There is an immediate need for the money and there really is no alternative to this tax. Davis is spending close to the state average cost per student so it is unlikely that funds are being wasted in any significant way.

    Yes, Davis could pull it’s head out of the ground and find better funding sources, but that will take years. The need is now!

    Davis relies on education for it’s existence. The community can afford to put a little more money into education.

  7. Give the kids a break! – how regressive is an $80 (tax deductible) parcel tax? This amounts to eliminating one restaurant trip per year, to a cheap restaurant.

    We, as a State, have done a very poor job of funding education so local communities have to do something. There is an immediate need for the money and there really is no alternative to this tax. Davis is spending close to the state average cost per student so it is unlikely that funds are being wasted in any significant way.

    Yes, Davis could pull it’s head out of the ground and find better funding sources, but that will take years. The need is now!

    Davis relies on education for it’s existence. The community can afford to put a little more money into education.

  8. Give the kids a break! – how regressive is an $80 (tax deductible) parcel tax? This amounts to eliminating one restaurant trip per year, to a cheap restaurant.

    We, as a State, have done a very poor job of funding education so local communities have to do something. There is an immediate need for the money and there really is no alternative to this tax. Davis is spending close to the state average cost per student so it is unlikely that funds are being wasted in any significant way.

    Yes, Davis could pull it’s head out of the ground and find better funding sources, but that will take years. The need is now!

    Davis relies on education for it’s existence. The community can afford to put a little more money into education.

  9. A parcel tax is specific to a community and is only for their schools. It is everyone’s responsibility, and in everyone’s best interests, to have a well-educated public. When affluent communities vote in a parcel tax, the state is able to step back from its duties of funding quality public education for all. The well-resourced take care of the funding themselves, the poor can’t, usually don’t vote, and have little political power. Affluent areas do the job themselves, less afluent areas suffer the loss in school funding and thus a loss in quality of education.
    Parcel taxes introduces an element of privilege into public school funding.

  10. A parcel tax is specific to a community and is only for their schools. It is everyone’s responsibility, and in everyone’s best interests, to have a well-educated public. When affluent communities vote in a parcel tax, the state is able to step back from its duties of funding quality public education for all. The well-resourced take care of the funding themselves, the poor can’t, usually don’t vote, and have little political power. Affluent areas do the job themselves, less afluent areas suffer the loss in school funding and thus a loss in quality of education.
    Parcel taxes introduces an element of privilege into public school funding.

  11. A parcel tax is specific to a community and is only for their schools. It is everyone’s responsibility, and in everyone’s best interests, to have a well-educated public. When affluent communities vote in a parcel tax, the state is able to step back from its duties of funding quality public education for all. The well-resourced take care of the funding themselves, the poor can’t, usually don’t vote, and have little political power. Affluent areas do the job themselves, less afluent areas suffer the loss in school funding and thus a loss in quality of education.
    Parcel taxes introduces an element of privilege into public school funding.

  12. A parcel tax is specific to a community and is only for their schools. It is everyone’s responsibility, and in everyone’s best interests, to have a well-educated public. When affluent communities vote in a parcel tax, the state is able to step back from its duties of funding quality public education for all. The well-resourced take care of the funding themselves, the poor can’t, usually don’t vote, and have little political power. Affluent areas do the job themselves, less afluent areas suffer the loss in school funding and thus a loss in quality of education.
    Parcel taxes introduces an element of privilege into public school funding.

  13. Come on! You just got one and now you want another? I don’t know a single person who will vote for this. This district is rich comared to others yet you never have enough. Maybe it’s time for the schools to quit whining and learn to tighten spending.

  14. Come on! You just got one and now you want another? I don’t know a single person who will vote for this. This district is rich comared to others yet you never have enough. Maybe it’s time for the schools to quit whining and learn to tighten spending.

  15. Come on! You just got one and now you want another? I don’t know a single person who will vote for this. This district is rich comared to others yet you never have enough. Maybe it’s time for the schools to quit whining and learn to tighten spending.

  16. Come on! You just got one and now you want another? I don’t know a single person who will vote for this. This district is rich comared to others yet you never have enough. Maybe it’s time for the schools to quit whining and learn to tighten spending.

  17. Davis Republican brings up very good points, but I disagree on certain parts:

    “There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.”

    Past Davis parcel taxes have had certain opt-out provisions, for instance for retirees on fixed income.

    If you want to argue that it’s a burden to lower income families, then better to spread out the cost of increased school funding across the community to minimize its impact.

    Also, the cost of directly charging only the users ends up being even more regressive.

    “2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.”

    In a sense this (charging fees, fundraising) is even more regressive than the parcel tax, as it puts more pressure/burden on lower income families w/ children who cannot come up with these fees. I sense we would probably disagree over what is to be defined as extra-curricular.

    But homeowners w/o children get plenty of benefits. A strong, well-supported public school system generally results in less juvenile crime and delinquency.

    Ultimately, a strong, adequately funded school system does more to stabilize housing values than almost anything else. You can compare Davis housing values to many other surrounding communities. Prices may have come down some in Davis, but not as much as in other neighborhoods.

    “3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.”

    Parcel taxes have been passed in Davis to be renewed every four years. This is to make any adjustments for inflation or redefine what the parcel tax will cover, etc. One of the more recent parcel taxes passed in Davis actually came down slightly in assessment over the previous one. That was when the economy was stronger, by the way.

    You can do some interesting research on parcel taxes in different school districts in California at http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    “4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?”

    $1.7M is a good starting point for discussion because that is what DSF covered this year. It doesn’t have to be $1.7M.

    DJUSD is already trimming ~$1M+ from their budget this year. They are eliminating many lower enrolled courses and this past week consolidated administrative responsibilities (Ginni Davis’ position was eliminated).

    “5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.”

    I don’t have an answer on the sewer fees because I haven’t followed city issues as closely. I am personally concerned about that. My small regret in the recent elections is that I didn’t see much of any discussion on this.

    However, if you want all the park facilities — greenbelts, parks, trees, pools, other public amenities — then it does cost. If you can argue that all of that is unnecessary and a waste, then you begin to build a point.

    DPD, maybe you could take on this topic (sewer fees)? Or is there a past posting you could refer us to?

    “6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?”

    The DJUSD is a separate jurisdictional entity than the city.

    “And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.”

    In many ways, it is better to maintain the current quality of education rather than regress in response to the economy. The cost to recover lost programs later on ends up being more.

    Maintaining adequate funding for education is the best way to strengthen the economy all around.

    “What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain”

    A very common conservative framing of taxes is that they are personal wealth that is unfairly taken.

    In the case of public school funding, this is a community investment from nearly every angle. It invests to stabilize or increase the equity in property,

    You can look at this from altruistic or purely selfish motives and still come out ahead on this one.

  18. Davis Republican brings up very good points, but I disagree on certain parts:

    “There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.”

    Past Davis parcel taxes have had certain opt-out provisions, for instance for retirees on fixed income.

    If you want to argue that it’s a burden to lower income families, then better to spread out the cost of increased school funding across the community to minimize its impact.

    Also, the cost of directly charging only the users ends up being even more regressive.

    “2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.”

    In a sense this (charging fees, fundraising) is even more regressive than the parcel tax, as it puts more pressure/burden on lower income families w/ children who cannot come up with these fees. I sense we would probably disagree over what is to be defined as extra-curricular.

    But homeowners w/o children get plenty of benefits. A strong, well-supported public school system generally results in less juvenile crime and delinquency.

    Ultimately, a strong, adequately funded school system does more to stabilize housing values than almost anything else. You can compare Davis housing values to many other surrounding communities. Prices may have come down some in Davis, but not as much as in other neighborhoods.

    “3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.”

    Parcel taxes have been passed in Davis to be renewed every four years. This is to make any adjustments for inflation or redefine what the parcel tax will cover, etc. One of the more recent parcel taxes passed in Davis actually came down slightly in assessment over the previous one. That was when the economy was stronger, by the way.

    You can do some interesting research on parcel taxes in different school districts in California at http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    “4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?”

    $1.7M is a good starting point for discussion because that is what DSF covered this year. It doesn’t have to be $1.7M.

    DJUSD is already trimming ~$1M+ from their budget this year. They are eliminating many lower enrolled courses and this past week consolidated administrative responsibilities (Ginni Davis’ position was eliminated).

    “5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.”

    I don’t have an answer on the sewer fees because I haven’t followed city issues as closely. I am personally concerned about that. My small regret in the recent elections is that I didn’t see much of any discussion on this.

    However, if you want all the park facilities — greenbelts, parks, trees, pools, other public amenities — then it does cost. If you can argue that all of that is unnecessary and a waste, then you begin to build a point.

    DPD, maybe you could take on this topic (sewer fees)? Or is there a past posting you could refer us to?

    “6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?”

    The DJUSD is a separate jurisdictional entity than the city.

    “And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.”

    In many ways, it is better to maintain the current quality of education rather than regress in response to the economy. The cost to recover lost programs later on ends up being more.

    Maintaining adequate funding for education is the best way to strengthen the economy all around.

    “What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain”

    A very common conservative framing of taxes is that they are personal wealth that is unfairly taken.

    In the case of public school funding, this is a community investment from nearly every angle. It invests to stabilize or increase the equity in property,

    You can look at this from altruistic or purely selfish motives and still come out ahead on this one.

  19. Davis Republican brings up very good points, but I disagree on certain parts:

    “There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.”

    Past Davis parcel taxes have had certain opt-out provisions, for instance for retirees on fixed income.

    If you want to argue that it’s a burden to lower income families, then better to spread out the cost of increased school funding across the community to minimize its impact.

    Also, the cost of directly charging only the users ends up being even more regressive.

    “2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.”

    In a sense this (charging fees, fundraising) is even more regressive than the parcel tax, as it puts more pressure/burden on lower income families w/ children who cannot come up with these fees. I sense we would probably disagree over what is to be defined as extra-curricular.

    But homeowners w/o children get plenty of benefits. A strong, well-supported public school system generally results in less juvenile crime and delinquency.

    Ultimately, a strong, adequately funded school system does more to stabilize housing values than almost anything else. You can compare Davis housing values to many other surrounding communities. Prices may have come down some in Davis, but not as much as in other neighborhoods.

    “3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.”

    Parcel taxes have been passed in Davis to be renewed every four years. This is to make any adjustments for inflation or redefine what the parcel tax will cover, etc. One of the more recent parcel taxes passed in Davis actually came down slightly in assessment over the previous one. That was when the economy was stronger, by the way.

    You can do some interesting research on parcel taxes in different school districts in California at http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    “4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?”

    $1.7M is a good starting point for discussion because that is what DSF covered this year. It doesn’t have to be $1.7M.

    DJUSD is already trimming ~$1M+ from their budget this year. They are eliminating many lower enrolled courses and this past week consolidated administrative responsibilities (Ginni Davis’ position was eliminated).

    “5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.”

    I don’t have an answer on the sewer fees because I haven’t followed city issues as closely. I am personally concerned about that. My small regret in the recent elections is that I didn’t see much of any discussion on this.

    However, if you want all the park facilities — greenbelts, parks, trees, pools, other public amenities — then it does cost. If you can argue that all of that is unnecessary and a waste, then you begin to build a point.

    DPD, maybe you could take on this topic (sewer fees)? Or is there a past posting you could refer us to?

    “6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?”

    The DJUSD is a separate jurisdictional entity than the city.

    “And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.”

    In many ways, it is better to maintain the current quality of education rather than regress in response to the economy. The cost to recover lost programs later on ends up being more.

    Maintaining adequate funding for education is the best way to strengthen the economy all around.

    “What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain”

    A very common conservative framing of taxes is that they are personal wealth that is unfairly taken.

    In the case of public school funding, this is a community investment from nearly every angle. It invests to stabilize or increase the equity in property,

    You can look at this from altruistic or purely selfish motives and still come out ahead on this one.

  20. Davis Republican brings up very good points, but I disagree on certain parts:

    “There are so many problems with a parcel tax, I don’t even know where to begin…

    1.) It’s regressive.”

    Past Davis parcel taxes have had certain opt-out provisions, for instance for retirees on fixed income.

    If you want to argue that it’s a burden to lower income families, then better to spread out the cost of increased school funding across the community to minimize its impact.

    Also, the cost of directly charging only the users ends up being even more regressive.

    “2.) Homeowners without children already pay a lot for education and get nothing in return. This only adds to that problem. If parents want additional services at the schools, they could continue to fundraise or the schools could start charging fees for certain extra-curricular activities.”

    In a sense this (charging fees, fundraising) is even more regressive than the parcel tax, as it puts more pressure/burden on lower income families w/ children who cannot come up with these fees. I sense we would probably disagree over what is to be defined as extra-curricular.

    But homeowners w/o children get plenty of benefits. A strong, well-supported public school system generally results in less juvenile crime and delinquency.

    Ultimately, a strong, adequately funded school system does more to stabilize housing values than almost anything else. You can compare Davis housing values to many other surrounding communities. Prices may have come down some in Davis, but not as much as in other neighborhoods.

    “3.) If it’s done as $80 with no CPI adjuster, than this tax won’t keep up with inflation, and in 5-10 years, the schools will want another parcel tax…just like they’re talking about now.”

    Parcel taxes have been passed in Davis to be renewed every four years. This is to make any adjustments for inflation or redefine what the parcel tax will cover, etc. One of the more recent parcel taxes passed in Davis actually came down slightly in assessment over the previous one. That was when the economy was stronger, by the way.

    You can do some interesting research on parcel taxes in different school districts in California at http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

    “4.) It assumes that $1.7 million is what the schools actually need – why are we assuming that the schools are being run as efficiently as possible?”

    $1.7M is a good starting point for discussion because that is what DSF covered this year. It doesn’t have to be $1.7M.

    DJUSD is already trimming ~$1M+ from their budget this year. They are eliminating many lower enrolled courses and this past week consolidated administrative responsibilities (Ginni Davis’ position was eliminated).

    “5.)Davis already has additional taxes – these taxes, coupled with the soon-to-increase sewer charges, are going to make Davis increasingly unaffordable.”

    I don’t have an answer on the sewer fees because I haven’t followed city issues as closely. I am personally concerned about that. My small regret in the recent elections is that I didn’t see much of any discussion on this.

    However, if you want all the park facilities — greenbelts, parks, trees, pools, other public amenities — then it does cost. If you can argue that all of that is unnecessary and a waste, then you begin to build a point.

    DPD, maybe you could take on this topic (sewer fees)? Or is there a past posting you could refer us to?

    “6.) The City appears to spend more time determing how to raise taxes than how to reduce its costs. Give me a break…another parcel tax?”

    The DJUSD is a separate jurisdictional entity than the city.

    “And, yes, of course the economy sucks – it’s terrible and depressing. So, let’s make it worse for people by adding an additional tax. That’s a great idea.”

    In many ways, it is better to maintain the current quality of education rather than regress in response to the economy. The cost to recover lost programs later on ends up being more.

    Maintaining adequate funding for education is the best way to strengthen the economy all around.

    “What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. – Mark Twain”

    A very common conservative framing of taxes is that they are personal wealth that is unfairly taken.

    In the case of public school funding, this is a community investment from nearly every angle. It invests to stabilize or increase the equity in property,

    You can look at this from altruistic or purely selfish motives and still come out ahead on this one.