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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ballot Arguments in For Measure W--The Parcel Tax

The ballot arguments have been submitted both for and against the Parcel Tax. This marks the first time in awhile that there has been an argument submitted against a parcel tax ballot initiative. Read the arguments both for and against Measure W and decide for yourself.


Yes on W: Continuing a Quality Education for our Kids!

Davis public schools are among the best in the state because generations of residents have made investing in education a top commitment of our community.

Measure W is needed to make up for the shortfall in state funding immediately and over the next several years. Without Measure W our schools will face severe program cuts and teacher layoffs.

The Davis School Board cut educational programs and made significant cutbacks in school administration this past year. An unprecedented community-wide fundraising effort was necessary to preserve core educational programs, and prevent teacher layoffs for the 2008/2009 school year only. But we cannot rely on such extraordinary stop-gap efforts to fund our schools.

Measure W will provide a reliable funding source for critical educational programs for the next three school years. Homeowners can continue our community's tradition of preserving quality schools for $120 per year, or $10 per month.

Measure W will:
  • Protect science, math and English programs;
  • Keep class sizes small;
  • Fund classes and teachers for music, art, social studies and foreign language;
  • Preserve athletics and physical fitness programs; and
  • Support our school librarians.
Every dollar Measure W generates will go directly to classrooms and instructors for student learning. Not one dollar from Measure W can be spent on administration. An independent Citizen's Oversight Committee will track all funds.

Measure W is designed for Davis. Apartments are assessed a lower amount and there is a voluntary exemption for seniors.

We ask that you VOTE YES on W to continue our community's long-standing tradition of investing in education because this investment benefits not just our children, it benefits all of us.


Judy Davis (Retired Elementary School Principal)
Jay Gerber (Business Owner)
Eleanor Neagley (Davis Teacher)
Janet Berry (Parent and Community Volunteer)
Many Carbahal (Accountant and Local Business Owner)


Measure W is a continuous effort by the School Board to seek voter approval to place a third local tax into effect in addition to Measure K: The School Facilities Bond passed in a Special Election in 2000 and Measure Q which passed last year and now with Measure W as a nearly identically written proposal to Measure Q to provide additional funding for Instructional programs which if passed in addition to the two other existing measures will increase the amount of special taxes paid to the school district from $258. to $378. per single unit dwelling and increase of 32%. despite that there has been a projected slight decrease in enrollment in the district from 8,863 to 8,833 students between the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years with less enrollment in addition to two (2) additional tax measures passed by the voters in previous years for other government organizations for their other purposes are still in effect doesn't justify supporting this proposed new tax.

In Davis the cost of living is already excessively high due to such new taxes and increases in recent years such as Measure W imposed on many middle income property owners not exempted from low income exemption provisions thereby subjecting them to possible future hardship as well such as possibly being evicted from their or excluded from purchasing residences due to the unaffordability to pay these current and new taxes.

In the interests to preserve the affordable cost of living for Davis residents against this excessive and continuous "tax raising frenzy" being sought by our local elected officials to gouge the local residents with excessive taxation: Vote No on Measure W.

For more information for more reasons to Vote No on Measure W please log on to the following
website address:


Thomas Randall, Jr.


The Proponents for Measure W don't mention in their ballot argument:

-That Measure Q was passed by voters last year still remains in effect assessing an additional $200. per year per parcel if Measure W passes for the remaining three (3) year term in effect as both tax assessments would serve nearly duplicate purposes in funding instructional programs and therefore a significant amount of additional funding could still be provided if Measure W doesn't pass.

-Measure W's provisions set a flexible tax rate per year up to a maximum of $120. per single unit parcel subject to an annual review with public hearings to be held by the School Board which is not legally required to set the rate at the preferred limit advised through public testimony or the recommendations of the Oversight Committee. This situation places taxpayers in the unfair situation in which the rate assessed to them could fluctuate from year to year and is unpredictable to specifically fixing their rate of annual property tax assessment thereby precluding them from accurately contemplating in advance what their total tax rate assessed would be annually and especially problematic provided the current cost of living is being affected by higher rates of inflation.

-Measure W's provisions contain no eligibility limit for tax reductions or exemptions for low
income property owners in the district (including some university employees and students) to pay the additional taxes imposed if the measure passes.

Vote No on Measure Wrong, Vote No on Measure W.


Thomas Randall, Jr.


Please don't be fooled by false and misleading arguments against Measure W.

FACT: Measure W is designed to address immediate school funding shortfalls that forced the Davis School Board to authorize substantial cuts for the 2008-2009 school year. A community-wide fundraising drive then restored important educational programs for only one year. Measure W would fund these valued services for the next three years.
  • FACT: Programs funded by Measure W are NOT INCLUDED in any existing parcel tax measures.

  • FACT: Measure W will expire in three years.

  • FACT: Measure W includes a lower rate for apartments and an exemption for seniors so they are released from undue tax burden.

  • FACT: Measure W meets immediate funding needs - it does not create new programs.

  • FACT: If Measure W is rejected, the Davis Board of Education will be forced to eliminate teaching positions and instructional programs.
Davis residents know the quality of life in Davis is linked to the quality of our schools. Our children, our neighborhoods, even property values, are supported
by quality schools.

Though the economy is uncertain, we know that the way to a better future is to protect the quality of public education. it's time to demonstrate our values once again. We ask that you vote YES on Measure W to support our schools and our community.

To learn more visit Thank you.


Helen Spangler (Davis Teacher)
Glen Holderreed (Investment Adviser)
Prudencio Mendez (Small Business Owner)
James Beckwith (President and CEO Five Star Bank)
Lois Crowe (Retired UCD Science Researcher)

Vanguard Commentary

At this point in time, there is no organized group or committee opposing the Measure W parcel tax that will be on the ballot for the November election. However, Thomas Randall, Jr., submitted an argument against the parcel tax and a rebuttal to the argument in favor of Measure W.

Mr. Randall wrote these arguments as an individual. While he is a member of the Yolo County Republican Central Committee, his statements are those of an individual and do not represent the Central Committee on this matter.

In fact, supporters of Measure W noted that Glen Holderreed, who signed the "Rebuttal to Argument Against Measure W" is also a member of the Republican Central Committee, and his views also do not represent the Republican Central Committee on this matter. At this time, that organization has not taken a position on the ballot measure.

The Yolo County Taxpayers Association, led by among others former Davis School Board Member John Munn, has not taken a position on the parcel tax and is not expected to do so.

From my standpoint, Mr. Randall's argument against Measure W is several long run-on sentences. More importantly however, several of the arguments are not accurate. For instance, Measure W and Measure Q do not fund any of the same programs, it does not create any new programs, and it only goes to fund educational programs--not administrators. In other words, the money goes directly into the classroom and if the measure is not passed, the money comes directly from the classroom.

The bottom line is this point by Measure W supporters:
"If Measure W is rejected, the Davis Board of Education will be forced to eliminate teaching positions and instructional programs."
That is what the public needs to weigh. There are few people in this community that are more cautious about raising new taxes than I am. I have been very outspoken on the issue of fiscal responsibility both by this school district and the city of Davis. I am very leery about potential rate hikes for water services, which by the way, dwarf this tax. The water rate hikes will likely be larger per month, than Measure W is per year.

Unfortunately, I see no alternative at this time to passing Measure W. The choice is clear, pay $120 additional in tax dollars or see teachers and programs cut. In the coming days, the Vanguard will talk about exactly what that means. Tomorrow, the Vanguard examines some very interesting data from the school district on spending over the past few school years.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting