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Teacher layoffs ahead as MP district plans cuts
Original post made
on Feb 26, 2010
More than 17 teaching jobs are on the line as the Menlo Park City School District struggles to close a $2 million shortfall for the coming school year. Close to 100 people gathered at Laurel School in Atherton on Feb. 25 to hear district officials' proposal for slashing the roughly $30 million annual budget.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Friday, February 26, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Posted by Friendly Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 4, 2010 at 11:02 am
Donna, get your tax bill out! There is a serious problem between your 1990 and 2009 tax bills and you need to contact the assessor's office. Either they think you changed ownership in there (name change?) or your sewer or garbage is way out of whack.
Like you, I bought in 1990. I dug out my 1991 bill (and my husband said I'd never need to keep this stuff … !) I see the tax amount I paid based on the sale price, plus $184 for garbage, $60 of misc fees, and $187 to West Bay for sewers. The property tax rate was 1.0134%.
Looking at my 2009 bill, my assessed value increased 41.2% from 1990, which is just a hair less than the Prop 13-mandated 2% a year. The tax rate increased to 1.1022%. And the educational parcel tax is $565. Then there is about $121 in storm drain, tree, mosquito and other fees, plus $560 for sewer. Ignoring the fees and sewer (we pay garbage by check), my taxes have increased exactly 61.9% since 1991.
Looking at your 1990 figure of $1800 and deducting garbage, fees, and sewers, then working back from the property tax rate, your assessed value should have been about $135,500. Is that what you paid for your house? (I don't remember anything for twice that in MP -- are you sure you aren't talking about the prior owner's bill, which you would have gotten before your supplemental?) Working forward, your current tax bill should be $135,500 x 1.412 x.011022, plus $565, $121, and $560 (and garbage, if you do that) for a total of $3,354.80. If you are paying more than this, either you're being charged for extra sewer hookups (do you have other living units attached to your house?) or for excess water usage (restaurants and laundries are usually the only parcels to get hit heavily with this) or for lots of garbage cans.
When you get this corrected, would you please, please consider voting for the parcel tax with your $2000 savings? Right now, our state is teetering between those people who benefit from Prop 13 (what would your house cost now -- $750,000? multiply that by 1%, and you get an idea of what you would be paying without Prop 13 -- $7500/year) and those who pay for our services, like newguy. Prop 13 envisioned parcel taxes as the way for the electorate to decide what's important locally since capping taxes at a 2% increase was nuts in a period of 8% annual inflation such as the late 70's/early 80's. Those who are paying disproportionately will outnumber those who aren't in just a few years we need to make all this work so everyone feels they're benefiting.
P.S. My husband just said that maybe you'd misremembered and paid two $1800 payments a year in 1990, for a total of $3600, which would track to $5500 today. In that case, you'd still be in our boat, where your taxes (as long as we include the $565 parcel tax) have just kept up with inflation. In that case, you've done your civic duty (which is, clearly, important to you, since you took the time to post!) and can vote against the parcel tax as being against your self-interest. That's fair. Menlo Park has to decide whether to invest in education and try to keep our standards on a par with Palo Alto and Portola Valley, which spend much more per child, or whether to slide towards Redwood City, which spends much less. You may be more comfortable with being Redwood City-like. But then it's probably not fair to announce that your taxes went from $1800 to $5500 as a reason to vote against the parcel tax.