Citizen’s Tax Exploration Committee Meeting

[Updated: May 5, 2010] Added minutes from the meeting indicated with the vertical blue line at the left margin.

When: May 5th 2010 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Scotts Valley Middle School Library
Who: Open to anyone interested

On Wednesday May 5th, 2010 there will be a meeting for those interested in discussing and exploring the available options concerning a parcel tax. As with any tax measure there are many details to consider and a wide array of option regarding how to structure such a tax. Researching and formulating such a ballot measure is a task for citizens of the community and therefore it’s up to all of us as to what we would want to appear on a ballot.

Meeting Agenda

  • Introductions
    • Michael Shulman
    • Steve Trefethen
    • Derek Timm
    • Inger Arum
    • Brian Harrison
    • Jondi Gumz
    • Carlos Arcangeli
    • Katie Bagley
  • Action item update from last meeting
    • Michael put together a survey which was reviewed during the meeting for content/length/focus
    • Michael and Brian did great work putting together a parcel spreadsheet in order to review different tax scenarios
  • News Updates
    • Scotts Valley Education Association (SVEA) position, results from survey
      • Survey has been completed and results should be forthcoming
    • Assessor’s office statement on the question of tax exempt property
    • Email / phone contact with consulting firm
      • Michael was contacted by WiSE Campaigns, a parcel tax consulting company, regarding our efforts. Not sure where that will lead at this point.
    • Los Gatos HS parcel tax survey article (now linked)
    • Senior exemption public notice in Sentinel (SC City)
      • Seniors may file a one time exemption from a Parcel Tax as opposed to re-filing yearly
    • Dollar-a-Day (DaD) letter
    • OSVS
      • Discussion of using this website as a basis for communication and fostering neighborhood organizations.
    • Others (round the table)
  • Google docs status
    • Agreement that Google Docs is a good place for content/sharing
    • Parcel spreadsheet data imported into Google Docs
    • Draft survey available to the group via Google Docs
  • Tax Structure
    • Amount: $1.0M (what we need) v $X
    • Distributions:
      • $150 flat
      • $fixed + $/acre (and variations)
      • Res v non-res
    • Distribution constraints:
      • Min / Max range
      • Avoid steep transitions
      • Simplicity
    • Duration: 5 yrs v ?
    • Purpose: People and programs
      • Discussion focused on raising enough to cover what’s needed which is $1M
      • Issue raised of estimating the amount of Senior exceptions
      • Examination of a per acre rate with a cap
      • Leveraging the previously discussed $98 amount
  • Survey Questions
    • Awareness of fiscal situation
    • $150/parcel support level
    • Support for other distributions (2? 3? 4?)
    • Importance / non-importance of distribution parameters
    • Duration – is it even worth asking about?
    • Purpose – a statement rather than a question
    • Bond – is this the time to gather this info?
      • Desire to keep the survey very short and concise
      • Michael will be reworking the survey based on the progress made on a proposed structure for the parcel tax
  • Communications & Networking
    • Organizing for Scotts Valley Schools (OSVS)
      • Decision to move forward with supporting/utilizing this effort Desire to keep the survey very short and concise
      • Desire to maintain progress while moving into Summer break

At this point, there has been only one other related meeting held on April 14 at the Scotts Valley Middle School Library.

In order to properly structure any tax measure it’s really important to get as much feedback and input as possible, hope to see you there.

[Updated: May 5, 2010] Updated agenda and reworked the wording for type type of meeting to indicate this is open to anyone in the community interested in helping explore Parcel Tax options.