By Tim Hunt
Dublin residents face tax renewalUploaded: Mar 12, 2014
Dublin voters will have the opportunity to extend the parcel tax for schools in a special mail-in election this month.
County election officials will mail the Measure B ballots on March 27. They are due back by May 6.
Dublin, since the voters in Pleasanton and Dublin approved redrawing district boundaries to match city limits in the 1990s, has benefitted from the highest per-student funding in the Tri-Valley area. This year, for instance, Dublin's revenue limit is $7,374 per student compared to $6,911 in Pleasanton and $6,385 in Livermore. The $96 per year parcel tax has added about $1.3 million to the school district budget and continues to grow as the city adds more development.
Dublin's financial advantage will shrink and vanish over the next few years as the new school funding formula that Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature approved last year. Both Pleasanton and Dublin have few students who come from poorer families. The funding for both districts will increase to $8,443 and $8,451 (Pleasanton) when the new formula is fully in effect. It's healthy revenue growth for both districts.
By contrast, Livermore will see its revenue grow 42 percent to $9,030 as the state recognizes the challenges of educating students from poorer families and non-native English speakers.
Livermore, like many other suburban districts (including Pleasanton and Dublin before the redistricting), suffered from low revenue limits that were established in the years after Proposition 13 passed in 1978. The funding adjustment finally addresses those issues as well as giving local districts much more control on how they spend the money by eliminating many state mandates.
There has been little buzz about the Dublin parcel tax and it remains low enough at less than $100 per year that it probably will pass easily. It won 72 percent last time around and again has a five-year sunset. Given the steadily improving demographics of Dublin, particularly on the east side, education is a high priority for most families so it would be quite a surprise should it fail.
Speaking of Dublin, it was a big weekend last week for Congressman Eric Swalwell and Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti. Swalwell is running for re-election to Congress and is being challenged by termed-out state Senator Ellen Corbett.
Sbranti is running for the state Assembly seat representing much of the Tri-Valley that is currently held by Joan Buchanan who reaches her term limit this year.
Both Dublin residents won the endorsement of the state Democratic Party. For Sbranti, that means those attending the convention selected him over fellow Democrats Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich and Orinda Councilman Steve Glazer.
Swalwell added the state party to endorsements from President Obama and Senator Dianne Feinstein.