May 6 2012

Superintendent Proposes New Community Tax Planning Team

Will “broader community” advise PUSD on a future school parcel tax measure? 

On May 9, 2012, the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent, Connie Hubbard, will ask the Board for authority to seek advice from a new small team of community leaders who have historical expertise in school parcel tax elections.  The team “collectively [would be] representative of the broader community”.   Further details on the new committee’s selection and its constituency may be presented or discussed at the meeting.  The selection of an advisory committee early in the development of a new parcel tax measure would be a departure from the usual process.

The school parcel tax currently supports 38% of the school’s operating budget.  The Board has a goal to “Develop & implement a sustainable plan to balance the budget”, with the guiding principle:  “Over the long term, stabilize the taxpayers’ share (percentage) of funding the District’s budget by reducing the growth rate of local taxes”.   The PUSD parcel tax grew by an annualized rate of 15% between 2000 and 2010.

The new community team, if approved, would work with the District’s administration and an unspecified pro bono consultant to develop a plan for the renewal of a school parcel tax. Its focus would be to discuss strategic issues, assess voter receptivity for a renewal, and make recommendations on the proposed levy amount and tax structure.  A selection process for the new community team was not specified in the meeting materials.

Those interested in learning more about the proposed committee or becoming a member of it can attend the School Board meeting on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in the City Council Chambers.   This item is VII and the agenda estimates it will be heard at 8 p.m.  (Regular session starts at 7 p.m. and closed session at 6 p.m.)  The School Board anticipates placing the parcel tax measure before the voters in 2013; it would take effect in 2014.  Further questions may be directed to Connie Hubbard at 510-594-2614 or Sandy Spiker at

The School Board is considering a 2013 parcel tax measure that would take effect in 2014.

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