From the New Haven Unified School District
FULL TEXT OF MEASURE H
New Haven Unified School District Revenue Measure
WHEREAS, the Board of Education of the New Haven Unified School District (the “Board of Education”) believes that a qualified special tax is necessary to support high academic achievement for all students of the New Haven Unified School District (the “District”); and
WHEREAS, Section 4 of Article XIIIA of the California Constitution and Sections 50075, 50076, 50077, 50079 and 53722 et seq. of the California Government Code, authorize a school district, upon approval of two-thirds of the electorate voting on the measure, to levy a qualified special tax for specified purposes following notice and a public hearing; and
WHEREAS, repeated reductions in funding in recent years from the State of California ("State") for schools have forced the District to reduce its budget from a high of more than $112 million in 2007-08 to less than $98 million in 2011-12; and
WHEREAS, State and Federal funding have been inadequate and uncertain to meet the ongoing objectives of maintaining high academic achievement for all students of the District and the Board has no assurance that future State or Federal funding will permit the District to meet these objectives; and
WHEREAS, in response to these reductions and uncertainties, the Board of Education has in recent years been forced to take drastic measures, such as increasing class sizes and reducing the length of the instructional year; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education has determined in its best judgment that in order to support high academic achievement for all students in the District, an election is advisable and necessary to request voters to authorize a qualified special tax in the amount of $180 per year per taxable parcel, to be collected beginning July 1, 2012; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Education has conducted a public hearing after due notice regarding the proposed authorization of the special tax, as required by law, and
Based upon these findings, provides as follows:
Article 1: TERMS OF THE MEASURE
(a) Terms and Purposes: Upon approval of two thirds of those voting on this measure, the District shall be authorized to and shall levy a qualified special tax of $180 per year per parcel of taxable real property in the District, commencing July 1, 2012, and expiring June 30, 2016.
The qualified special tax shall be known and referred to as "Measure [ ]" (hereinafter “Measure). Proceeds of the Measure shall be authorized to support high-quality local elementary, middle and high school education, to prepare students for college and careers with outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math and science, with highly qualified teachers and classified staff. No proceeds will be used for administrators’ salaries, and all funds will stay in local schools.
(b) Senior Citizen – Disability Exemption Available: An optional exemption from the special tax is available annually to each individual in the District who attains 65 years of age prior to July 1 of the tax year, or for each individual receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability prior to July 1 of the tax year, and who owns a beneficial interest in the parcel, and who uses that parcel as his or her principal place of residence, and who applies to the District on or before July 1 of each tax year. Any application for the exemption must be submitted to the District and must be renewed annually.
Article 2: ACCOUNTABILITY PROVISIONS
(a) Citizens' Oversight Committee: An independent citizens' oversight committee shall be appointed by the Board of Education to ensure that the proceeds from this measure are expended for the purposes described in the measure.
(b) Accountability Requirements: The members of the Board of Education, the District Superintendent, and officers of the District are hereby requested and directed, individually and collectively, to provide accountability measures pursuant to Government Code section 50075.1 that include, but are not limited to, all of the following: (i) a statement indicating the specific purposes of the qualified special tax, (ii) a requirement that the proceeds be applied only to the specific purposes identified pursuant to subsection (i), (iii) the creation of a separate special account into which the proceeds from the special taxes shall be deposited, and (iv) an annual report pursuant to Section 50075.3 of the Government Code.
(c) Annual Report: Pursuant to Section 50075.3 of the Government Code, the Board of Education directs that the Chief Business Officer of the District file a report with the Board no later than June 30, 2013, and at least once a year thereafter for the duration of the special tax. The annual report shall contain both of the following: (i) the amount of funds collected and expended from the special taxes, and (ii) the status of any projects or programs required or authorized to be funded from the proceeds of the special taxes.
(d) Specific Purposes: All of the purposes set forth in the measure shall constitute the specific purposes of Measure [ ], and the proceeds of that special tax shall be applied only for such purposes.
Article 3: PROTECTION OF FUNDING
If the adoption of this Measure results in any decrease in State or Federal funding to the District, then the amount of the special taxes authorized by this Measure will be reduced annually as necessary in order to restore any such reduction in State or Federal funding.
Article 4: LEVY AND COLLECTION
(a) Collection: The special tax shall be collected by the Alameda County Treasurer - Tax Collector (the "Tax Collector") at the same time and in the same manner and shall be subject to the same penalties as ad valorem property taxes collected by the Tax Collector. The collection of taxes under the Measure shall not decrease the funds available from other sources of the District in any period from the effective date hereof.
(b) Definition: "Parcel of taxable real property" as used herein shall be defined as any unit of real property in the boundaries of the New Haven Unified School District that receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Tax Collector's Office.
(c) Exemption: All property that the Tax Collector has determined to be otherwise exempt from or on which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the Measure in such year. The Tax Collector's determination of exemption or relief for any reason of any parcel from taxation, other than the Senior Citizen – Disability Exemption, shall be final on the taxpayer for purposes of the Measure. Taxpayers desiring to challenge the Tax Collector's determination should do so under the procedures established by the Tax Collector's Office and Section 4876.5 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code or other applicable law. Taxpayers seeking any refund of taxes paid pursuant to the Measure shall follow the procedures applicable to tax refunds pursuant to the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
(d) List of Senior Citizen – Disability Exemption: Parcels owned and occupied by individuals who are 65 years of age or older, or owned and occupied by individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, may be exempt pursuant to the Senior Citizen – Disability Exemption provisions set forth above. The District shall annually provide a list to the Tax Collector, on or before a date established by the Tax Collector of each year, of the parcels which the District has approved for the Senior Citizen – Disability Exemption as described above.
(e) Duration: The collection of taxes pursuant to this Measure shall be for (4) four years, commencing July 1, 2012 and expiring June 30, 2016.
Article 5: SEVERABILITY
The Board hereby declares, and the voters by approving this Measure concur, that every section, paragraph, sentence and clause of this measure has independent value, and the Board and the voters would have adopted each provision hereof regardless of every other provision hereof. Upon approval of this Measure by the voters, should any part be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.