Statewide Messages In Aftermath Of LA Parcel Tax’s Defeat

The rout of Los Angeles Unified’s parcel tax last week will reverberate beyond L.A. to other school districts that had hoped a victory in Los Angeles might signal that their voters, too, would consider higher school taxes.

Think again, said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, which regularly polls Californians on issues. The results in Los Angeles send a message that school districts “will have to lower expectations about whether the public connects the dots between wanting more money for schools and the willingness to raise their own taxes.”

What caught the attention of Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable in Sacramento, was the argument by Measure EE supporters that the parcel tax was the first of a two-pronged strategy, with the second being the split-roll initiative. Schools and Community First, the formal name for the split-roll initiative, could bring in $11 billion annually, with $4.5 billion dedicated to schools and community colleges. By requiring business properties to be reassessed regularly, not just when they are sold, properties’ taxable value would increase, generating more revenue.

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