E is fair and necessary

By From page A6 | October 26, 2012

Previous letters asking for a no vote on E by J. Zwahlen (Oct. 19) and Lance Johnson (Oct. 16) point out “flaws” in our parcel tax for education — that there is no reason that apartment owners should be able to pay less per apartment vs. single homeowners, that retirees can exempt themselves from the parcel tax, that there is no need to shore up our local K-12 education system at all.

Since renters are largely students and we want to allow rents to remain reasonable and yet encourage participation by all of Davis — UC and otherwise, apartments are asked to pay a modest parcel tax.

Retirees on SSI fixed income are entitled to parcel tax exemption — many don’t take it.

We need to tax ourselves locally because the state has succeeded in providing even less money than expected for statewide education each and every year since I moved back to Davis in 2006 and prior.

The answer is to amend Proposition 13 to reinstate annual commercial property tax adjustments. The answer is to remove the budget by minority process in our state government.

And I agree with Zwahlen and Johnson, that keeping the school administrators honest and eliminating excess is also part of the answer. But, the answer is not to remove one of the pillars of what makes Davis an exception to the general decline occurring in our surrounding communities.

Our modest support of local education repays itself by enriching our lives by providing our youth a challenging, full and complete education. Our production of well-educated youth is known nationally and is an invaluable asset.

We have to go back to ask our community to renew the education parcel tax because we continue to believe that these local taxes, for a state-guaranteed education, should be temporary, that the state Legislature is going to solve its budget deadlock and seek to collect fair taxes in balance with providing services. This has not occurred and so we have had to take matters into our own hands.

Vote to renew our commitment to local education. Vote yes on E.

Scott Ragsdale

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