Letter to the Editor: BUSD Parent Wants No Vote on Measure QS

By On October 20, 2018

Letter to the Editor:

VOTE NO ON MEASURE QS (Property Parcel TAX)

I’m a Parent of a Burbank High Jr and was part of the successful YES On Measure S campaign. It might surprise you to know that I am Voting NO on Measure QS, as are many other Parents, Property Owners & Measure S Supporters. Here’s just a few reasons why we can’t support this Property Tax increase at this time:

  1. This Tax is not needed at this time; The BUSD Budget is Balanced for the next 3 Years.
  2. The Tax places an unfair burden on Burbank Property Owners & Renters who are still paying for previous School Bonds (until 2032), while approx 1300 Students who live outside the district pay nothing. Businesses with larger footprints are also disproportionally hit with larger bills.
  3. This Tax will exist in Perpetuity, highly unusual for Parcel Taxes, which typically have Sunset clauses and need to be reconsidered by Voters every 4-7 years.
  4. The Tax does not address future Maintenance needs or extra Classrooms needed to accommodate anticipated demand from Planned Development requiring yet another Bond in a few years.
  5. Significant funds will be used to augment Salaries/Benefits. Having $9M/year that can be re-assigned to any Goal “pot” will lead to more demands for Salary/benefit increases, resulting in less money available for Student programs over time.
  6. Obscures the real problem – mandatory Pension obligations imposed by the State. Unlike our City, BUSD has always paid its share of Pension contributions. But because of poor management by the State, our contribution to fund Pensions is increasing to 19-26¢ per Dollar of Payroll; taking money from current students to pay past obligations. Cost-of-Living-adjustments that previously provided money for modest Salary increases are now being used entirely to Fund Pensions.

In conclusion, the proposed Parcel Tax is a band-aid approach to a STATE issue. Political pressure must be brought to bear at the STATE level to either provide More Funding or Relax the onerous Mandatory Pension payments.  #NOonQS 

Eric Michael Cap
Burbank Resident & BUSD Parent