What is a parcel tax? Can it be used to raise the pay for teachers?
Dear captainofthedorksquad— I hadn’t known this, exactly!
The parcel tax is a form of tax used primarily in California for the funding of public education. It originated in response to California’s Proposition 13, a state constitutional amendment approved by the voters in 1978. Proposition 13 limited taxation based on the assessed value of real estate to 1% per year; however, the parcel tax is a flat tax on each parcel of real estate, and does not vary according to the value of the property. Proposition 13 allowed government entities to levy “special taxes” if approved by 2/3 of the voters. Because of the requirement that 2/3 of the voters approve such a measure, it has been described as a “somewhat cumbersome funding mechanism”. Research has shown that districts able to pass parcel tax measures tend to be more prosperous and to have lower percentages of minority students than those where parcel tax measures failed, or were never proposed.