• Fate of District’s Parcel Tax Measure In Hands of San Marino’s Voters


    by Mitch Lehman

    The San Marino School Board will learn in the next two weeks if voters will again ratify Measure R – the renewal of a twenty-two year-old parcel tax first approved in 1991 to raise funding for the San Marino Unified School District. The item was placed on a mail-in only ballot as there were no other contested election issues in San Marino and the school district at.

    If approved, Measure R will generate more than $1.6 million annually for the district’s schools, costing residents about $330 per parcel for six years. The item requires a two-thirds plus one majority to pass.

    A second parcel tax, approved by San Marino voters in 2009 during the state’s most dismal fiscal performance, further taxes residents to the tune of $795 per parcel, plus cost of living increases. Monies generated by the parcel taxes cannot be used outside the district. On official ballot literature circulated by the Los Angeles County Board of Elections, Measure R did not have an argument against passage.

    “It is important to understand that these taxes do not go to Sacramento. These are local dollars spent right here in San Marino,” Superintendent Loren Kleinrock said. “The state cannot cut them. The recently passed Proposition 30 does not bring any new money for our schools; it only prevents further cuts. Without the renewal of the current parcel tax, the district will lose approximately $1.6 million, forcing us to reduce teaching positions, increase class sizes, and potentially cut programs.”

    Kleinrock also touted “a near-perfect graduation rate, 99% of  students typically going on to college, all four of San Marino’s schools earning California Distinguished School status with three recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

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