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Measure B Passes In Lafayette

With all votes in and counted, Measure B reaches the two-thirds approval it needed to pass.

Voters in Lafayette turned out Tuesday in support of Measure B, a parcel tax appending an additional $176 in taxes on most properties within district boundaries — giving the measure the two-thirds margin it needed to win.

Measure B passed by a margin of 74.3 percent to 25.69 percent, with 10,048 votes cast.

The ballot measure includes a senior-citizen exemption. Any parcel owned and occupied as a principal residence by a person 65 years of age or older would be exempt from the parcel tax upon proper application to the district.

Larry May 05, 2011 at 01:45 AM
Chris: A well reasoned argument that makes some excellent points. I think your suggestion that, I'm paraphrasing, quality parents drive results more than small changes in budget is valid, but over time, a lack of community support for schools will drive away parents who have school quality as their priority. The economic argument is interesting. I calculate the NPV of Measure B at $830 (five years, 2% discount rate) and given a median house value in Lafayette of $750,000, then the COST of Measure B is reducing house values to a rational buyer by 0.11%. There are also reductions in house values because of the perception that taxes are high, and because it is clear that a super-majority is willing to vote for taxes. These add up to some unknown drag on house values. The only quantifiable one is pretty small. So if the costs reduce values, how much do the BENEFITS of Measure B increase values? Clearly for someone buying a house in Lafayette because they want to avoid sending their children to private school, a lot: $95,000 is the NPV of $20,000 per year for five years, 2% discount rate. Two children through high school is even more. For most, though, it is a comparison between public schools, which is harder to monetize. That leaves a rather subjective weighting. Still, given that 100:1 ratio, I don't think it would be too difficult to show that on balance, Measure B (I'm certainly not arguing for all taxes!) makes economic sense for a Lafayette homeowner.
Chris Nicholson May 05, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I think you've gone a bit (asymmetric) "slippery slope" comparing the small ant short-lived "B" on the one hand, versus the full cost of private education on the other. Since you are thinking about the full benefit on one side, you should think about the full cost on the other: all projected parcel taxes forever. History suggests that they never go down, so believing the four year horizon is not really fair. Also recall that only something like 20% of homes face the potential cost of private school (school age kids at home), whereas EVERYONE (except seniors) pays the taxes foreever--- can't really ignore those folks. This feature (some benefit; all pay) is what makes it ABSOLUTELY rational/selfish for CURRENT PARENTS to support all parcel taxes. Their kids get all the benes, and they pay only 20% of the cost. Not a bad deal. Anyway, we understand each other and the weightings are indeed subjective. At this point I think it is best to congratulate the Pro-"B" crowd, hope that the money is well spent and take a fresh and hard look at he overall district budget before the next "emergency" crops up.
andrea rich May 05, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Let's now focus our attention and lively discussion on how we can stabilize education funding at the state level. I think we can all agree that being 47th in the country on education spending is not where we want to be. I invite you all to join Lamorinda pajama-clad kids to "Wake Up California" Tuesday, May 24th from 7-8am before school. We will focus on the dire state of education in our state and how we, as a group of citizens, students, administrators, legislators, parents and teachers can come together to prioritize education in our state. Details to follow...
LafayetteRez May 05, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Direct foreign military and economic aid in 2010 totaled a bit over $41billion and if you delve deeper into the details, you'll find that quite a bit funds corruption, buys cooperation of local warlords, etc in Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, QUatar, SaudiAr, UAE, Tunesia, Yemen..., The CIA believes that OBL was in this house for at lest 5 years so what does this say about our policy with our new best Frienemy Pakistan? THey got 2.6Bil in 2010. This $41bil works out to about $310 per year per tax payer. Maybe 3x that or half of your Fed Tax goes to the military. Our government tells us they are not going to pay for our highways, those overseas are more important.. or our schools so we just agreed to fork over another $179/yr with Measure B. This is not a state govt issue - this requires a total reevaluation of how we value education. Where's the outrage? Interesting article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=teachers&st=cse
c5 May 06, 2011 at 01:30 PM
lr, if you point goes to the issue of how highly we as a nation prioritize eduction i am with you...i for one believe that at a state and local level, eduction should ideally be fully funded if at all possible. the questions are what does fully funded mean, and when money is a constraint what takes the hit. unfortunately it is far from clear to me that our eduction spending is all being well spent, and i for one would like to see much more of a performance oriented approach taken with our hard earned tax dollars. i'm not an expert on all the issues, but certainly something like elimination of tenure comes to mind as a way to invigorate our teachers and to give our younger teachers a much better shot at advancement. on the spending prioritization side, what we so far don't grasp is that tough choices must be made. it is far too easy to think we can just keep raising taxes forever to fix problems that are really spending related. the math never works out, and you just have to look at the situation we find our state in, or out federal govt for that matter, to see that the spending side of the equation has to be the focus in order to bring things into balance. we just don't hear that from those in power, certainly not in this state, and certainly not from the current administration in dc. so if we want to fund education better, my choice would be to first fund it more effectively, and second if we still need more $$ (not clear) cut other spending-just not the seals!!

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