Monthly Archives: March 2010

Learning about Parcel Taxes

I’ve been trying to investigate the subject of Parcel Taxes so as to be able to discuss it intelligently. I found the following data regarding successful California Parcel Tax initiatives interesting specifically related to the amounts, durations and specifics of the tax. The data, which comes from Successful 2009 Bond and Parcel Tax Elections outlines a number of interesting parameters for structuring such a tax I was previously unaware of (ex. size of residential units, nonresidential parcels etc.) underscoring my naiveté regarding the subject matter but at least I’ve learned a few things along the way.

The data highlights districts from which it seems SVUSD (and the community) could seek advice. The amount for the current Parcel Tax drive here in Scotts Valley of $98 is explained here though I can’t seem to find a proposed duration but there’s a useful chart at the bottom of that page.

I’m curious if drawing a correlation, using the ADA figures, to SVUSD would help in analyzing the data?

Successful 2009 Bond and Parcel Tax Elections

District County ADA Parcel Tax Rate and Term Date Vote
Acalanes Union High Contra Costa 5,673 $189/parcel 9-Nov 74.50%
Albany City Unified Alameda 3,668 $555/residential unit, greater of $0.11/sq. ft. or $555 for nonresidential parcels. (Combines three existing parcel taxes from 1987, 1999 and 2005.) 9-Nov 77.30%
Albany City Unified Alameda 3,668 $149/residential unit, greater of $0.03 sq. ft. or $149/each nonresidential parcel – inflation adjusted – 5 years  9-Nov 76.30%
Bolinas-Stinson Union Marin 99 $250/parcel for 5 yrs 9-Mar 75.20%
Culver City Unified Los Angeles 6,336 $96/parcel – 5 years. 9-Nov 74.90%
Cupertino Union Santa Clara 16,648 $125/parcel for 6 yrs 9-May 70.00%
La Cañada Unified Los Angeles 4,109 $150/parcel for 5 yrs 9-Jun 75%
Lagunitas Elementary Marin 197 $325/parcel – 8 years, 6.5% annual COLA  9-Nov 67.40%
Larkspur Elementary Marin 1,125 $368.88/parcel for single family residential, 5% COLA, 8 years. Parcels with more than one single-family residence, $50 for each additional unit. Nonresidential parcels: $368.88 for up to 4,999 sq. ft.; $700 for 5,000 to 9,999 sq. ft.; $2,000 for 10,000 to 24,999 sq. ft.; $4,000 for 25,000 to 99,999 sq. ft.; $8,000 for 100,000 to 249,999 sq. ft.; $16,000 for 250,000 to 499,999 sq. ft.; $20,000 for 500,000 sq. ft. and higher.  9-Nov 70.80%
Moreland Elementary Santa Clara 3,745 $95/parcel for 8 yrs 9-May 69.10%
Novato Unified Marin 7,276 $251/parcel for 6 yrs 9-Jun 68.70%
Orinda Union Elementary Contra Costa 2,399 $124/parcel 9-Mar 70.80%
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified Los Angeles 12,000 $165/parcel for 4 yrs 9-Jun 68.90%
Piedmont City Unified Alameda 2,519 Average $249/parcel for 3 yrs 9-Jun 73.20%
Piedmont City Unified Alameda 2,519 Single family: $1,805/parcel for up to 4,999 sq.ft. lot; $2,051/parcel for 5,000-9,999 sq.ft. lot; $2,339/parcel for 10,000-14,999 sq.ft. lot; $2,685/parcel for 15,000-19,999 sq.ft.lot; $3,065/parcel for $20,000 sq.ft. lot. Multifamily: $1,200/unit. Multiple parcel: $1,971/dwelling. Commercial: $3,065/parcel for up to 10,000
sq.ft. lot; $4,583/parcel for 10,000 sq.ft. and greater. Undeveloped: $916/parcel Extension for 4 yrs of two separate measures on June 7, 2005 that expire on July 1, 2010 
9-Jun 78.40%
San Carlos San Mateo 570 $78/parcel for 6 yrs 9-May 71.70%
San Marino Unified

Los Angeles 3,192 $795/parcel for 6 yrs 9-May 71.20%
San Ramon Valley Unified Contra Costa 23,918 $144/parcel for 7 yrs 9-May 72.20%
South Pasadena Los Angeles 4,201 $95/multiunit parcel, $288/parcel for 4 yrs  9-Jun 67.30%
Walnut Creek Elementary Contra Costa 3,053 $82/parcel 9-Nov 75.70%
Woodside Elementary San Mateo 400 $242/parcel for 8 yrs 9-May 75.80%

Source: Successful 2009 Bond and Parcel Tax Elections

Scotts Valley Unified School District Budget Projection Example 2009-2013

This chart displays an example SVUSD budget projection through 2013 illustrating:

  • Revenue
  • Expenditures
  • Reserves
  • Deficit of reserves through 2012

What’s depicted here is a perfect storm, expenditures exceeding revenue, reserves in constant drastic decline, and deficits rising.

[Update: April 18, 2010] This graph uses a logarithmic scale highlighting the fact that it’s the Reserves taking the biggest hit in 2011-2012. Since the other lines only change marginally over time the change in Reserves has the biggest impact. The scale can be changed using the control at the top left hand edge of the chart.


Source: Fiscal Advisory Presentation – Feb. 2, 2010

Scotts Valley School District Revenue Limit Deficits

Revenue Limit is defined as the maximum amount of money a district
will receive for each unit of Average Daily Attendance (ADA).

The formula for calculating Revenue Limit Funding is:

((Revenue Limit X Deficit) + Adjustment) X ADA

This formula ties the School District’s budget to student attendance and enrollment. This chart displays gap in the Entitlement vs. Funded Revenue Limit from 2007 to 2010. In other words, the difference between what should have been granted and what was granted.


Source: Fiscal Advisory Presentation – Feb. 2, 2010

Scotts Valley Elementary School's Declining Population

This chart displays Scotts Valley Elementary student population over time. The significance of this data is that school funding is based on enrollment and as Scotts Valley’s schools see declining enrollment funding also disappears.

NOTE: The data points exclude Special Day Classes for students with disabilities.

Updated March 29, 2010: Added Teacher populations based on data from the SARC reports. The data on teachers covers only 2006-2009. To see data on teachers select “Teachers” from the Y axis.

Source: Enrollment Projections Presentation – Feb. 9, 2010