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SCA 6: School District Parcel Taxes (2009)


SCA 6 (2009) would allow local school districts to approve a local parcel tax with a 55 percent majority rather than the two-thirds majority currently required.  By lowering the threshold, SCA 6 provides for local choice and control, and conforms the vote required for a parcel tax to the 55 percent majority required for local bonds.  In addition to helping school districts raise revenues, SCA 6 will also give local districts more power to fund programs that are important to them.

For more information, you can read the SCA 6 "Fact Sheet" prepared by a member of Senator Simitian's staff.

Text and Status

You can find the most recent text and status of SCA 6 on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

What the bill does:
The California Constitution currently requires a two-thirds majority of a school district’s voters to approve a local parcel tax (a flat tax usually assessed per lot of land, regardless of market value).  SCA 6 lowers that requirement to 55 percent.

Given the State’s on-going financial crisis, school districts are now facing severe cutbacks in funding.  Worse still, it is unlikely that the State will be able to provide adequate funds in the foreseeable future.  Now more than ever, school districts need to find ways to help them maintain a consistent quality of education.  SCA 6 gives school district much-needed flexibility in raising local educational funds.

In addition to helping school districts raise revenues, SCA 6 will also given them more power to fund programs that are important to them.  Most State funding is earmarked for particular programs.  When it comes to raising money that school districts can control, there’s not much choice.  A parcel tax is the only way local school districts can raise discretionary revenue.  SCA 6 will increase local choice for local education needs, while ensuring that every dollar generated goes to the school district for locally identified purposes.  In the past, school districts have used parcel tax money to enhance instructional programs, hire additional teachers, and support libraries, music, and arts programs— all reflecting priorities in their districts.

California still lags behind most states in per pupil spending.  Though the current financial crisis will lead to reduced state spending on education, schools do not have to languish as a result.  Voters can take local action to keep education strong, as they did when they recently passed a similar proposition on local school construction bonds, lowering the approval threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent.  SCA 6 conforms the threshold required for parcel taxes with the voter-approved threshold for school bonds.

News & Press Releases about SCA 6

06/09/2011 - Waging a years-long battle for more school funding

03/20/2010 - Can a Constitutional Amendment Save California Schools?

11/10/2009 - Voters should decide whether to lower parcel tax threshold

07/14/2009 - State budget deal should include parcel tax reform

06/26/2009 - School districts rally around Simitian bill

06/15/2009 - As state cuts funding, more districts turn to voters