Millbrae Schools: We Need a Parcel Tax Because Everyone One Else has One

Your parents and teachers tell you a simple fact of life.  Just because others jump off the roof, does not mean you have to jump as well.  Sadly, the “adults” running the Millbrae schools in the Bay Area are acting more like a seven year old, than a mature adult.

“The district Board of Trustees is set Tuesday, Feb. 6, to weigh a proposal designed to put a parcel tax on the June ballot. Assuming trustees support the recommendation, a $97 annual per parcel measure expected to span five years would go before voters, said Phayprasert.

The Millbrae Elementary School District is among only a select few in San Mateo County which does not already have a parcel tax in place. The district has passed bond measures previously, but that money may only be allocated toward facilities and cannot fund school operations.

For his part, Phayprasert said the parcel tax is necessary to help offset funding gaps generated through inadequate allocations from the state government to the public school system.”

Instead of changing curriculum to be more successful, promoting more charter schools—which are academically better and cheaper to run since unions do not run them—the seven year olds in charge of the Millbrae schools prefer to raise taxes, make it more expensive to live in the area and force more of the middle class to leave California and move to a Free State.  Will the voters jump off the roof?  I bet they do and then they deserve the higher taxes.

tax sign

By Austin Walsh,  Daily Journal, 2/5/18

Millbrae school officials are looking to end the district’s run as one of the few local school systems without a parcel tax, as administrators are expected to float such an initiative to voters this summer.

After more than a year of planning and community outreach, the school board could approve formal pursuit of the tax soon, said Vahn Phayprasert, superintendent of the Millbrae Elementary School District.

“We are just excited about it, and we are going to do whatever it takes not only to educate but also fight a good fight,” said Phayprasert. “It’s good for the kids and for the district, in terms of financial support.”

The district Board of Trustees is set Tuesday, Feb. 6, to weigh a proposal designed to put a parcel tax on the June ballot. Assuming trustees support the recommendation, a $97 annual per parcel measure expected to span five years would go before voters, said Phayprasert.

The Millbrae Elementary School District is among only a select few in San Mateo County which does not already have a parcel tax in place. The district has passed bond measures previously, but that money may only be allocated toward facilities and cannot fund school operations.

For his part, Phayprasert said the parcel tax is necessary to help offset funding gaps generated through inadequate allocations from the state government to the public school system.

“Without additional local funding, or our community foundation, the school district can only provide what is required — meaning reading, writing and math. If our community wants to go beyond that and into enrichment programs … that’s the only way we can do it,” he said.

Phayprasert’s confidence the measure will receive the supermajority voter support needed to pass is bolstered through community polling conducted last year, showing 75 percent of voters would favor a parcel tax. Should the tax pass, seniors would be eligible for an exemption from paying it. The tax is slated to generate $700,000 annually.

The district has unsuccessfully sought voter support for a parcel tax three times previously, said Phayprasert. But greater awareness regarding the district’s difficulties generating revenue could lead to improved results this time around, said Phayprasert.

“We have a lot of parents and stakeholders that are supporting us,” he said.

Additional support has been offered by city officials, said Phayprasert, as the two sides met recently to discuss collaboratively campaigning in favor of the measure.

Educators are slated to present the district’s tax campaign strategy to the City Council next month, said Phayprasert, following an invitation by city administrators to publicly discuss the initiative.

In turn, Phayprasert said it is reasonable to expect educators would offer their support to the city, should officials pursue a bond measure to finance reconstruction of the city’s Community Center.

City officials are seeking money to build a new center, following an arson fire claiming the previous facility. City Hall received a $6 million insurance recoupment, but the payment covering the value of the nearly 50-year-old building is inadequate to address the cost of building a modern center, officials have said.

The City Council in November approved a proposed new center design, expected to cost as much as $72 million. Councilmembers also hired a pollster to gauge community support for a tax, and results are still pending as well as a timeline.

Phayprasert said he believes the two agencies could work in tandem to rally support for both measures standing to improve the quality of life and education in Millbrae.

“It’s best I feel to work together if we are try to go out for any tax, because it is one community,” he said.

As it relates to the school district’s pursuit of the tax, Phayprasert said he believes it is due time Millbrae joins the ranks of local communities where additional financial support is offered to the school district.

“It doesn’t make any sense why Millbrae doesn’t have one,” he said of the parcel tax. “So I’m excited.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.