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Chamber backs school parcel tax

April 23, 2009

The La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted last week to endorse the school district’s parcel tax election, after a presentation from school board president Joel Peterson, who is also chairman-elect of the LCF Chamber’s board of directors.

Peterson told the Valley Sun that his colleagues on the chamber board had no major concerns about the parcel tax election, which will be conducted by mail during the month of June.

The school board president said the measure includes a five-year term, no inflation index, an exemption for seniors, the ability to consolidate adjacent parcels as one taxable unit accountability measures including an Oversight Committee, the ability to only apply once for an exemption, rather than annually, and an amount of $150 per parcel per year — the equivalent to 41 cents per day per household.

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The school district is facing a budget shortfall of more than $12 million over the next 3 ½ years, and is facing the prospect of budget cuts and possible layoffs.

Peterson said the election will be the first totally mail vote conducted by the school district. The decision was made to go to a mail ballot because of projected costs of more than $200,000 for a walk-in election June 2.

The chamber board also voted to take no position on the May 19 state special election with six tax and revenue related measures. Proponents call the measures, 1A through F, needed to help deal with state budget issues, while opponents object that the issues maintain tax increases and don’t deal with underlying problems. The discussion was led by Sunder Ramani, chamber vice president of regional programs.

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—By Charles Cooper


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