December 10, 2019

Pension costs feed resistance to higher school taxes

The unexpected defeat in 2016 of a school parcel tax in wealthy Marin County and the near-defeat of another in the county that same year prompted a trio of authors to look into what had turned many voters against them.

Their conclusion was that the high cost of school employee pensions was very much on voters’ minds — a bad omen for other districts considering parcel taxes to supplement state funding for schools.

One rejection and a close call don’t necessarily create a trend. Last year, Kentfield voters passed a lower tax increase with smaller annual increase, and results from other parcel tax votes last week show it may be premature to proclaim that a rebellion has begun.

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