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Parcel Tax Renewal FAQs

Banner Parcel Tax FAQs

How are Moraga schools performing?

The Moraga School District (MSD) prides itself on preparing students to succeed in the modern economy and a diverse global world. Student achievement in Moraga schools consistently ranks among the top in California and we’re proud to offer high quality programs in science, technology, engineering, arts, math and music education.

 

How does Moraga School District maintain high quality academic programs?

For over 25 years, our schools have relied on voter-approved school parcel tax funding to support our excellent teachers and outstanding academic programs. Local parcel tax funding — which provides just over $1 million annually and is equivalent to 10 full time teaching positions — is set to expire in July 2020. Moraga schools receive among the lowest levels of per student state funding, so the local source of parcel tax funding provides an important supplement to our budget.

 

What happens if we let this funding expire?

Without the renewal of the parcel tax, the District would be faced with deep cuts that would have a significant impact on our academic programs, class sizes and the quality of education in our schools.

 

Is there a plan to renew this dedicated source of locally controlled funding?

In order to preserve this dedicated source of education funding, the MSD Governing Board unanimously voted to place a renewal measure on the March 3, 2020 ballot. A renewal measure would help ensure that Moraga’s schools keep pace with others in Lamorinda and the Bay Area, and remain among the best in the State. If approved, the measure would continue funding at the current $192 rate with a modest annual inflation adjustment, capped at 3% annually.

 

What specific programs would this source of funding support?

Specifically, the renewal measure would support our local schools by:

  • Continuing effective science, technology, engineering, arts, math and music programs
  • Maintaining manageable class sizes
  • Attracting and retaining the best qualified teachers
  • Keeping school libraries open
  • Protecting student safety and security

 

What fiscal accountability provisions would be required?

The renewal measure includes specific taxpayer protections, including:

  • By law, all funding from the measure would directly benefit Moraga elementary and intermediate schools — the State could not touch these funds
  • Citizens’ oversight and annual public audits would be required
  • None of the funds could be used to pay administrators’ salaries or benefits
  • Low-income senior citizens could apply for an exemption from the cost of the measure
  • Funding could be ended by Moraga voters

 

Does MSD have a strong record of effectively managing taxpayer dollars?

Yes. Independent citizens’ oversight and third-party audits consistently confirm that MSD has expended voter-approved funding as promised and has maintained a prudent reserve as a result.

 

Could low-income seniors receive an exception from the cost?

Yes. Low-income senior citizen homeowners, aged 65 and older, could apply for an exemption for their primary residence. Contact the District Office at 925-376-5943 to learn more.

 

Could funds from the measure be taken away by the State?

No. By law, all funds generated by the renewal measure would stay in Moraga School District and could not be taken away by the State or used for any purpose other than what is explicitly written in the measure.

 

How long would the measure be in place?

If approved, this measure would be in place until ended by a vote of Moraga registered voters.

 

Does this measure renew our expiring parcel tax at the current rate?

The measure simply extends the current rate structure with a modest annual inflation adjustment, which would be capped at 3% each year. This helps ensure our schools can remain among the best in the Bay Area and State without overburdening local taxpayers.

 

I don’t have children in school, how would the measure impact me?

Niche recently ranked Moraga as the #7 city in California to raise a family and #1 overall in the East Bay, largely due to strong elementary and intermediate schools. Moraga’s schools are at the heart of our town, protecting local property values and our quality of life. Keeping them strong keeps our community strong.

 

Didn’t we just approve Measure V in 2016?

Measure V is a bond measure, not a parcel tax. Bond measures and parcel tax measures are used for different purposes — bond measures can only fund facility upgrades and improvements and cannot be used for operating costs or programs. Parcel taxes may be used for teachers and academic programs. Moraga’s existing parcel tax is set to expire next July. The measure on the ballot next March would renew that expiring source of funding.

 

When would I be able to vote on this measure?

The renewal measure will appear on the ballot on March 3, 2020. All registered voters in Moraga School District will be eligible to vote on the measure, which needs 66.7% support to pass. Absentee voters will receive their ballot in the mail in early February.

 

How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?

You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in this election, please contact Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters at (925) 335-7800 or visit cocovote.us.