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Less voter approval may be needed to pass parcel taxes

SACRAMENTO • If approved by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly and Senate, voters will see a new amendment to the states constitution on the ballot that would give local school boards the flexibility to pursue additional funding via parcel taxes.

Currently, a proposed parcel tax would require two-thirds of the total votes in order to pass. If approved by voters, the Senate Constitutional Amendment 3 would lower the 2/3 vote majority to 55 percent, making it easier for school districts to “restore educational programs,” according to a press release issued by the California School Boards Association.

Parcel taxes are a form of property tax that must be paid by the owner of a parcel of real estate. Unlike property taxes — which are based on the value of the property — parcel taxes are generally a uniform amount, regardless of assessed value or size.

The CSBA, who announced their sponsorship of the bill last December, stated a press release that the bill would help restore educational programs and services eliminated or reduced through the last five years of deep funding cuts and deferrals.

The SCA 3, which was authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is gaining criticism however, as opponents of the bill believe that Californians are already heavily over-taxed.

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