Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Measure H, the bond issue that would have increased local parcel taxes by $180 per year for four years, went down to defeat Tuesday.
According to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, the measure got 62.29 percent of the vote, or 4453 "yes" votes. It needed 66 percent to pass. "No" votes totaled 2696, or 37.71 percent. All of the votes have been counted, according to the registrar's website.
It's the second failed attempt in as many years to raise parcel taxes to benefit the New Haven Unified School District. This year's measure. like last year's, would have raised $3 million per year for the school district.
In March, New Haven's Chief Business Officer Akur Varadarajan said failure to pass the measure may force the district to cut additional days from the school year , increase class-size ratios to 30:1 in kindergarten, first and second grades, and reduce elementary specialists and middle school electives, and take other measures.
This year's attempt to pass the parcel was not as close as the last attempt, Measure B, which culminated with a May 3, 2011 special election that came within a few dozen votes of passing the measure.
Measure B was a parcel tax that, if passed, would have been used to fund stipends for Logan staff and reductions in class sizes. The tax would have required Union City homeowners to pay $15 a month, or $180 a year, just as this year's Measure H would have required..
The measure required a 2/3 (66.67 percent) vote to pass; the measure received 66.43 percent “yes” votes.
The New Haven Teachers Association threw its weight behind both measures, marshalling member's to work phone banks, promote the measure door-to-door, and otherwise support it, to no avail.
"Despite the huge effort of our members, parents, students, administrators and community members, Measure H has been defeated, Association President Charmaine Banther wrote to her members. "The time and effort you all put into walking, calling and marching is really appreciated."
We’ll need to make the necessary reductions to start the school year and then re-group for the Governor’s Tax Initiative in November," she wrote, "Thank you for fighting for our students."
California Governor Jerry Brown's initiative would raise sales taxes temporarily to raise money to help fund state operations, and bolster school funding.