Parcel Tax Renewal

Since 1864, Miller Creek School District (Formerly Dixie School District) has provided local elementary and middle school students with a challenging and enriching education that promotes academic excellence and lifelong learning. Our local schools are recognized as some of the best in our city, county and state.


For nearly 30 years, our schools have relied on locally-controlled parcel tax funding to maintain manageable class sizes, retain great teachers and offer challenging and enriching educational programs to all students. This funding helps prepare our students for high school, college and careers. 

 

This critical source of local funding is now set to expire. Without this funding, $1.9 million would have to be cut from the school district’s annual budget, requiring class size increases, cuts to academic programs and lay-offs for teachers and school staff.

Renewing Local Funding Measure

To protect teaching and instructional programs in local elementary and middle schools, the Miller Creek School District Board of Trustees recently voted to place a measure on the May 8, 2018 all-mail ballot to renew existing parcel tax funding for 12 years. The measure would renew the current annual rate of $352 per parcel and add $118 per parcel.  The amount may be adjusted by no more than 3% annually to ensure funding keeps pace with inflation and the cost of providing instruction.

 

Funds from this measure would be used to:

  • Attract and retain qualified teachers

  • Maintain instructional materials and equipment for science programs

  • Support core academic programs, including math, science, technology, reading and writing

  • Maintain music programs and world language electives, such as French and Spanish classes

  • Maintain classroom computers and technology instruction

  • Maintain class sizes

  • Keep school libraries open and maintain library services and materials

To ensure funds from the parcel tax renewal measure are spent as promised to protect quality education in local schools, the following mandatory fiscal accountability safeguards are required:

  • All funding raised by this measure would benefit local schools and no funds could be taken by the State or other school districts

  • By law, no funds from this measure could be used for administrator salaries

  • An independent citizens’ oversight committee, annual audits and reports to the community would continue to be required to ensure funds are spent as promised

  • An optional exemption for senior citizens would continue to be available

  • The measure would automatically expire in 12 years and could not be extended without voter approval

 

 

Here are links to find out more:

 

Resolution and Full Text of Measure

 

Informational Mailer

 

Notice to Voters Mailer

 

Fact Sheet

Parcel Tax 2017-2018: What are we funding?

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Miller Creek School District

 

How are our Miller Creek School District schools performing?

Since 1864, the Miller Creek School District (MCDS) has provided our local students with challenging and enriching educational programs that promote academic excellence and lifelong learning. Our schools, which are recognized as some of the best in our county and state, keep our community strong and our property values high.

 

Have our schools relied on locally-controlled funding?

Yes.  For nearly 30 years, our community has supported our local schools with locally-controlled parcel tax funding.  These funds have helped provide reading, math and science programs that build a strong academic foundation for our students.  The music, arts and world language programs funded by this measure help to build students’ creativity and critical thinking skills, helping to prepare our students for high school, college and careers. 

 

Have local funds been used as promised?

Yes.  Local funds have been used as promised to voters, helping to provide individual attention and create an enriching academic environment.

 

Is local funding set to expire?

Yes.  Our local funding is set to expire, which would cut $1.9 million from our school district’s annual budget. This could result in class size increases, cuts to academic programs and lay-offs for teachers and school staff.

 

How does Miller Creek School District plan to address expiring funding?

The MCSD Board of Trustees has placed a measure on the May 8, 2018 all-mail ballot to renew existing parcel tax funding for 12 years. The measure would renew the current annual rate of $352 per parcel and add $118 per parcel.

 

What specifically would be supported by a parcel tax renewal measure?

A parcel tax renewal measure would be used to:

  • Attract and retain qualified teachers

  • Maintain instructional materials and equipment for science programs

  • Support core academic programs, including math, science, technology, reading and writing

  • Maintain music programs and world language electives, such as French and Spanish classes

  • Maintain classroom computers and technology instruction

  • Maintain class sizes

  • Keep school libraries open and maintain library services and materials

How do I know funds from a parcel tax renewal measure would be spent wisely?

To ensure funds from a parcel tax renewal measure would be spent as promised to protect quality education in local schools, the following mandatory fiscal accountability safeguards would be required:

  • All funding raised by this measure would benefit local schools and no funds could be taken by the state or other school districts

  • By law, no funds from this measure could be used for administrator salaries

  • An independent citizens’ oversight committee, annual audits and reports to the community would continue to be required to ensure funds are spent as promised

  • An optional exemption for senior citizens would continue to be available

  • The amount may be adjusted by no more than 3% annually to ensure funding keeps pace with inflation and the cost of providing instruction

  • The measure would automatically expire in 12 years and could not be extended without voter approval

 

Would the renewal measure include a senior exemption?

Yes. Senior citizens and low-income homeowners with disabilities would continue to be eligible for an exemption from a parcel tax renewal.

 

How does the renewal measure account for inflation?

The renewal measure allows for a cost of living adjustment of up to 3% per year to account for inflation and other increases in the cost of providing programs.

 

Would all funds benefit Miller Creek School District schools?

Yes, all locally-controlled funds would benefit MCSD schools and could not be taken away by the State or used for other purposes.

How long would the renewal measure last?

If approved by two-thirds of voters, the renewal measure would last for 12 years and could not be extended without voter approval.

When will I be able to vote on this measure?

The measure has been placed on the May 8, 2018 all-mail ballot. All registered voters living in the Miller Creek School District would be eligible to vote on the measure.

Didn’t we recently vote on a measure for Miller Creek School District?

In 2014, voters approved Measure C, a bond measure that allowed for critical repairs and upgrades to MCSD school facilities. Funding from that measure can only be used to improve physical infrastructure in Miller Creek School District schools, and cannot be used to offset the cuts to teachers and programs that would result from the expiration of local education funding.

What’s the difference between parcel taxes and bond measures?

Bond measures and parcel tax measures are used for different purposes — bond measures can only fund facility upgrades and improvements, and cannot be used for operating costs or programs. Parcel taxes may be used for teachers and academic programs.

Will funding from this measure be used to fund public employee pensions?

No. Funds from the parcel tax renewal measure may only be used to fund the specific programs and services identified in the measure. School districts do not set retirement benefits for their employees—they are set at the state level. Any increases in contributions to state teacher and school employee retirement systems will have to be funded from other sources.

What would the cost of a renewal measure be for renters?

Only property owners who pay property taxes will pay the cost. However, landlords may pass all or a portion of the cost of the measure on to their tenants.

How can I register to vote or learn more about voting?

You can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov. To find out more about voting in this election, please contact the Marin County Registrar of Voters at (415) 473-6456 or visit www.marincounty.org/depts/rv.

How can I learn more about our Miller Creek schools?

As the Miller Creek School District continues to evaluate its priorities and future needs, we want to hear from you. For more information, please visit www.dixieschooldistrict.org or contact Interim Superintendent Becky Rosales at superintendent@dixieschooldistrict.org or (415) 492-3706.

Miller Creek School District

380 Nova Albion Way

San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 492-3700

© 2016 - 2017 Miller Creek School District