In an apparent betrayal of trust, the governing board of the Acalanes Union High School District has decided to raise property taxes despite a pledge not to do so. On June 24, 2014, the district’s governing board voted to sell $15 million in bonds. The board’s decision will raise property taxes.
In 2008, the board promised not to raise property taxes. Measure E of that year contained ballot language promising that tax property-tax rates in the Acalanes district would not go above $35.58 per $100,000 of assessed value.
The Acalanes district includes Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and part of Walnut Creek. The district’s high schools include Miramonte (in Orinda), Campolindo (in Moraga), Los Lomas (in Walnut Creek), and Acalanes (in Lafayette).
Voting to raise property taxes were board members Kathy Coopersmith (board president), Nancy Kendrieski, and Richard Whitmore.
Tom Mulvaney was the sole board member to vote against the motion to raise property taxes.
The vote to sell $15 million in bonds comes in the wake to two tax increases. In November 2012, California’s voters passed Proposition 30, a measure to increase the state’s sales tax and increase the state’s personal income tax. Funds from Proposition 30 were to go toward education.
In May 2014, Acalanes voters, in a mail-in ballot, approved Measure A, a property-tax increase for the district.
Several years ago, Acalanes voters rejected a property tax increase. Later, the Acalanes district put a new tax measure on the ballot that gave a property-tax exemption to Acalanes residents over age 65. However, to qualify for the exemption, residents over age 65 had to file, with the district, a special form to obtain the exemption.