Town Square

Post a New Topic

Guest opinion: Where did the other $713 million go?

Original post made on Aug 30, 2020

Proposition 15 will only distribute $139 million -- 11% of new revenue -- to schools and community colleges in the county. Palo Alto Unified will get just $1 million. Mountain View and Los Altos schools get $2 million, combined.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, August 30, 2020, 9:14 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Anand Hattiangadi
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Anand Hattiangadi is a registered user.

Great! Prop 15 does lift all boats including ours, but we should also acknowledge the extraordinary privilege of loving here at a time when American schooling has returned to being as segregated as it was before the civil rights movement.

Posted by Me
a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 30, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Me is a registered user.

Imagine being so mad about poor kids getting a tiny fraction of taxes from rich areas, that you write an entire op-ed (or at least a portion of one) attacking the idea!

Have you seen our school districts? Mountain View High School has an entire computer game-making program ... while other districts in the state can't even afford textbooks!

But yeah, heaven forbid those dirty "other parts of the state" produce half-educated citizens ... in the society we all share and have to live together in.

Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 30, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Just understand that unfortunately our county is one of the most wealthy counties in the state.


Education funding by the state must be equally distributed to the students of the state. If the county has say 15% of the student population in the state, you are going to see at least 85% of the collected taxes be redistributed to those other students.

The state and federal constitution requires that ALL students must receive a uniform funding when distributed by the state or the federal governments. The local counties and the cities or districts can make some choices based on their localities.

The current proposition is a state wide one and is justified because the funding for education as a state is so full of disparity. Even though I pay taxes, indirectly because my rent pays my share of property taxes, and I have no children, thus I receive no benefit at all.

I still support the proposition because our economics is based on the effective ability for all to be able to equally achieve where the poor are given the same tools as the wealthy to participate. Being in the wrong zip code cannot be a justification to reduce the skills that a student must build in a school before graduating.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 31, 2020 at 11:28 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I do not support Proposition 15. I will vote NO. This is too complicated (long initiative) with too many complications [read "loopholes"]. There ARE some progressive little parts of IT! I Agree. But far too little! Larry Stone, the Assessor for Santa Clara Co. is adamantly opposed (how very surprising to have HIM show up In Person to lecture the MVWSD Board)!

A simpler way can be made to improve Prop 13. Start by simply revoking Generation Passing (you get your Mom's tax reduction on her house!). Just Inherit it!
A "complicated tax" scheme - is usually because - It's A SCHEME (a scam in some way).

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 31, 2020 at 11:40 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Steve Goldstein: I don't understand your tax revenue / State School Funding LCFF discussion. It lacks depth of research on the important details. I would urge you to please read an authoritative source / like ED100, chapter 8, esp. 8.1, 8.3, 8.4
Web Link
or one of the authoritative reports from the LAO (Legislative Analyst Office) or the NGO Public Policy Institute of California. Web Link

Posted by BarryG
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm

BarryG is a registered user.

Complicated siphoning off of funds to the state. No thanks! Tinker with Prop 13 instead.

Posted by Hurts Locally
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 31, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Hurts Locally is a registered user.

Jennifer Bestor has been following this for years, and is correct. Our local schools, which currently keep local property tax revenues (and have set salary structures based on current levels) would see local property tax income capped, with the incremental amounts flowing to the state. This would be harmful for our local districts (and all "Basic Aid" districts in the state.)

Aside from that, the measure would be devastating to small businesses, who could see their property taxes increase by 10x immediately. Perhaps they should pay more than today, but going up by 10x would crush them. Is this really the time we want to increase taxes on small businesses? As they try to bounce back from pandemic impacts? Think of small property owners, or even owners of mid-size properties like strip malls. In the latter case, tax increases would often be passed on to tenants...think salons, yogurt stores, tea houses, etc...who in turn, would raise prices to you and me.

Prop 13 needs adjustment on the commercial side, but this is not the right answer...and it's a bad time to raise business property taxes.

PS - The $3M (I believe that's in the language?) limit for a commercial property to be excluded doesn't help anyone in the Bay Area, where virtually every property would exceed that assessment level.

Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 31, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

State level micromanaging and games with taxes. No thanks. Much better to have people in control of how their tax and education dollars are spent. In these COVID times, it makes more sense to have micro schools in neighborhoods rather than the anachronistic public school system. This chart shows how the public school system has grown substantially while results are unchanged:

Web Link

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I tried reading the Entire text of the 5 areas changed-in-state-constitution. (
Web Link
There is a very complicated and convoluted way that Prop 15 Does Try to slowly adjust commercial property taxes Upward (to current value / as if it just sold). Please TRY reading it!
Looks like "legalese"? Could you have figured out how to write a simple - 10 year commercial property tax increase to Assessed Value equal Current Value? I think I could.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Palo Alto's bold proposal to jumpstart home electrification
By Sherry Listgarten | 26 comments | 5,770 views

New sushi restaurant and steakhouse coming to Palo Alto in 2023
By The Peninsula Foodist | 5 comments | 2,569 views

Is Palo Alto Utilities ready for our increasing demand for more electricity?
By Diana Diamond | 9 comments | 2,311 views

Local Flavor– Highland Noodles and Aurum
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,859 views

What Do You Get Out of Being Stubborn?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 863 views