Town Square

Post a New Topic

Opposing Shoreline tax by way of Measure A

Original post made on Apr 7, 2010

A Mountain View parent upset with the lack of revenue for schools from the city's Shoreline tax district has written a ballot argument against MVLA's Measure A, calling it a "referendum" against the tax district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 3:30 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Castro City
on Apr 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

RE: Measure A. Increase taxes? We already pay more money than anybody else in the world for education and California still ranks 48th in academic achievement. Raising taxes will accomplish nothing. The entire educational process needs to be reformed. More money will not help with this process. We have great students and excellent teachers. What we really need to to get back to basics. Reading, writing (in English only), mathematics and science. When I attended school we got revolutionary SMSG, which was School Mathematics Study Group. SMSG was worthless and turned out a generation of students who could not do simple arithmetic. Student who succeeded in math, learned it from their parents, not from school. Why English only? Because all the best science and math books are being written in English. Forget raising taxes and driving employers into other cities and states where taxation is fair. The last automotive assembly plant on the west coast is closing. California is losing employers. Don't punish the few remaining employers with an unfair tax.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I commend Mr Nelson for shining light on the ridiculous Shoreline Tax district. I do find his efforts a bit misguided, however. MVLA did not create the Tax District, and should not have it essentially held against them.

A bigger concern I have with Mr Nelsons statement: "Should Google, Microsoft and the Shoreline District businesses get out of regular school taxes, forever?" This is simply an inaccurate assesment of the situation. Google and other Shoreline businesses pay EXACTLY the same property taxes they would if the Tax District didnt exist. The beneficiary is the City of Mountain View. The tax district DIVERTS the tax revenue, it does not keep taxes artificially low.


Posted by John Doe, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 8, 2010 at 1:19 am

No More bonds... No more new taxes.... I have to tighten the belt at home with my family and cut expenses... My work had to tighten expenses by reducing pay, eliminating redundant positions and firing poor performers.....

Why can the school district do that? And for you Teacher Unions out there.... There ARE BAD TEACHERS IN MV TOO that should be fired... but protected.... We need to run the schools like if it was our own bunisess and household and not like spending someone elses credit card.....by the way someone elses credit card... IS OUR CHILDRENS since they will have to pay for it in 10 to 20 years......


Posted by Seldon, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I disagree with reallocating any additional funds from the Shoreline Community Tax District to the high schools. For one, the high schools themselves are happy with the arrangement they have with the district, and the perks provided by it. Secondly, the funds in the Shoreline Community Tax District have been used successfully to develop the Shoreline area and attract world class companies like Google.

The prosperity of a city rests on more than one leg. Education, residential capacity and quality, commercial capacity and quality, arts and entertainment, access to transportation, and parks all play into it. To ignore the value of any one of these aspects threatens the synergistic effect of all of them combined.

The City has decided to have and maintain the Shoreline Community Tax District, and from the results we've seen over the past 10 years, I believe that decision has been a good one.

However, I would like to see commercial property owners contribute more to our schools and community by way of fixing Prop 13's loophole that has allowed them a windfall in property tax savings:

Web Link

This approach is better than redirecting funds from one bucket (Shoreline Community Tax District) to another bucket (schools) which is a zero sum game. Fixing Prop 13, expands the entire bucket of funds for communities.


Posted by john doe, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 9, 2010 at 1:16 am

Once again do the schools REALLY need more money? I come from a home that believes we fix our stuff first... MV schools has some issues on spending and questionable teechers that need to be sddressed before asking for more money....

So there is a district that has no schools and no real residents but generates jobs and tax revenue....so instead of embracingit lets just try to suck more money out "in the name of schools"..... Politics at is best.....


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

Seldon, what is the point of the city taking the lead in developing the Shoreline area if it isnt to benefit the city? The infrastructure is in place and paid for. THe benefits to the overall city of having brand name companies across the freeway without the revenue are marginal, and come with plenty of downside.

City Halls arguement-- which you are parroting-- about how Shoreline wouldnt exist without the tax district are silly. Since the city built it, Shoreline is a permanent off-book piggy bank? How does that money get spent, and how do we as taxpayers benefit?


Posted by parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

To John Doe and everyone else,

Please do not refer to "MV schools" because there are TWO SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

MVWSD is the K-8 district and includes all the elementary and middle schools.

MVLAHSD is the high school district and includes all the high schools.

The are two very separate entities, with different superintendents, school boards, funding mechanisms, and teachers. You cannot lump them all together. The only thing they have in common are the students they educate.


Posted by Steve Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm

eric,
Sorry you are 'sort of' correct, the taxes that Shoreline takes are diverted from the General Funds of the schools. The 1% on the $2-3 billion increased assessments since 1969 go directly to Shoreline Fund (do not go to schools, library, county). The MVLA High School District is not nearly as affected as MVW elementary (and the Los Altos elementary schools, where most (all?) of the High School Trustees reside is not affected at all).
I cannot hope to have much effect on the state Prop 13, I can "see commercial property owners contribute more to our schools and community by way of fixing" Shoreline by fighting to sunset it at 10%. (In line with eric's second posting)
The bucket that is Shoreline would still get 10% - but the General Funds of the schools, city and county would start to get return for the money that ALL of them have had deferred over the last decades. [Why should a private hotel get $30 M in interest free public money????] Yeah - the Voice got it right, I'm rather upset.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm

You got my No vote on Measure A Steve. Keep up the good work.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Steve, you missed my point. Your ballot arguement- quoted in the Voice- impies that companies in Shoreline arent paying their fair share of taxes. That is simply not the case. Google et al are not "getting out of" anything- they pay the same rate of taxes that businesses elsewhere in town do. The fact that the schools get hosed is not their choice or fault. Your implication is misleading.

The more I think about your actions, the more apalled I am--despite my complete agreement with you on the Shoreline issue. Bond issues are appropriately used for long term capital projects, as proposed here. There is NO connection between this need and the very inappropriate Shoreline district. You, sir, may well due to your misguided campaign, end up being singlehandedly responsible for severe overcrowding at the high schools in a few years. Harming our childrens education to make an UNRELATED point is reprehensible-- you are acting out of pure spite. What a great lesson.


Posted by Seldon, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

"Seldon, what is the point of the city taking the lead in developing the Shoreline area if it isnt to benefit the city? The infrastructure is in place and paid for. THe benefits to the overall city of having brand name companies across the freeway without the revenue are marginal, and come with plenty of downside.

City Halls arguement-- which you are parroting-- about how Shoreline wouldnt exist without the tax district are silly. Since the city built it, Shoreline is a permanent off-book piggy bank? How does that money get spent, and how do we as taxpayers benefit? "

---------

If past leaders of Mountain View looked over the bog that Shoreline once was, and said,"There's no point investing money into this area, what's it good for anyways?", we wouldn't have Shoreline Amphitheater, Shoreline Park, or Google.

The fact is that by investing the dollars BACK THEN made possible the success we see with it NOW, regardless of those of us who take that for granted, or fail to see the many faceted benefits (and drawbacks) of this area. Taking a snap shot now, and saying "looks like we're done, we can go home now", is the anti-thesis of visionary thinking, and seeing the possibilities for this area.

For those who attended the planning process the City conducted with the public late last year, its clearly evident Shoreline has much more potential than we've utilized so far, for businesses, and residents alike. The reason to maintain the Shoreline Tax District is not to coddle the Google we have now, its to attract the NEXT Google 10 years from now, and the NEXT generation of residents that will choose to live in our City, if we spend wisely.

Look at the rate of change in the Valley over the last 30 years, the next 10 years will be anything but the same as it is now, and investing with foresight, is the only way to keep this City the gem it is.

The high school district is taking the appropriate path for additional funding. If you are a resident for the long term, you know that dollars invested in schools lead to better quality schools with higher ratings, increased property values, and attracts educated folks. In short it raises the quality of life in the area. No need to cut off your arm just because you have a sore foot....buy new shoes.


Posted by Seldon, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm

"The bucket that is Shoreline would still get 10% - but the General Funds of the schools, city and county would start to get return for the money that ALL of them have had deferred over the last decades. [Why should a private hotel get $30 M in interest free public money????] Yeah - the Voice got it right, I'm rather upset."

-----------------

Steve, I understand your position and even the anger you've expressed, but I don't agree with the method you are advocating.

I liken your approach to be the same as denying your dog food and water, to enrage it enough to bite the neighbor that blocks your driveway every morning.

I understand the "ends", but I don't agree with the "means".

Supporting changes to Prop 13 is not a lost cause. More and more folks are seeing the numbers, and are disillusioned with the windfall tax savings commercial property owners are receiving, on the backs of residential owners, and to the detriment of our communities and our schools.


Posted by William Symons, a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

Just beginning my research.... are we not just extending the current bond or tax rate we now have from year 2024 to 2030? seems like a lot of heated discussion for merely an extension of what seems to be working OK.

It IS clear though---The arguments should be for reform of Prop 13 so we can restore a fair tax base. That's why CA education is such a mess financially, and we have to do these "financial fiascos" to keep the students and schools merely less underfunded....

Disclosure: my kids go to public schools; MVWSD now, and will go to MVLAHSD.


Posted by taxpayer, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Leave Prop 13 alone. Our schools waste money. We spend more money on education than any other state and we rank 48th in the nation. Our educational system is a worthless, bottomless money pit.
When I attended school, they introduced the revolutionary SMSG mathematics system. I had to learn math from my parents. If our teachers cannot teach anything, we can import teachers from India on L1 visas and H1-B visas. We already "outsource" over 1,500 teachers on educational visas, second only to Texas.


Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Measure is creating a new tax. It's actually creating a new tax IN THE FUTURE. How neat is that?

Is 2025, when our taxes are supposed to go down.. they won't. Because in 2010 we decided to borrow more money and increase taxes in the future.

So like Mr. Nelson's tactics or not I absolute love his message. We are giving billion dollar corporations special treatment while the rest of us pick up the tab. Sure, those company are paying their "fair" share in taxes.. but they are receiving more than their fair share in city services. That's not OK.


Posted by "Just Think About It", a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 10, 2010 at 10:45 am

Proposition 13 was some of the best legislation ever passed in California. If if it wasn't for this proposition many seniors be forced to sell their homes because they can no longer pay the property tax. Why be so narrow minded. Many of these people might be your parents. When this property is sold it will be evaluated at the current tax rate..............Just Think About It.............


Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

postlog: After talking to the high school board member who was running the bond campaign - it was clear that it would be impossible to really do much to 'bump the vote' without spending an unreasonable amount of money. "Any publicity is good publicity" for the underdogs. My later discussions with members of what became "Share Shoreline" made it clear that the temporary extra $2 M/yr they managed to negotiate from then City Manager Duggan - was way over what they expected! And the high schools got more operational money (that they weren't expecting and didn't have to publicly fight for).
So a packed council meeting, and lots of citizen letters do help (temporarily) sway community spending. BTW, I spent 4 mornings and afternoons handing out flyers to get the parent turnout up.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Veggie Grill coming soon to Mountain View's San Antonio Center
By Elena Kadvany | 25 comments | 3,688 views

Finding mentors in would-be bosses
By Jessica T | 0 comments | 2,105 views

The No Sweat Way to Bike to Work
By Janet Lafleur | 9 comments | 2,023 views

Analyze data yourself with R - a fast growing language for statistics, forecasting and graphs
By Angela Hey | 2 comments | 1,578 views

The Dude Abides
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 1,534 views