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WatchSonoma Watch

SRJC to consider parcel tax

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Santa Rosa Junior College board of trustees on Monday will consider taking a key step toward putting a parcel tax before Sonoma County’s voters to offset steep cuts from Sacramento.

SRJC students line up for financial aid applications and advice in 2010. (John Burgess / PD)

The seven member board called the special meeting to decide whether to hire a consultant and conduct a poll, said Board President Terry Lindley. He estimated the cost of a consultant could range from $25,000 to $40,000.

“I’m like everybody else, you get tired of having to deal with more and more taxes every time you turn around,” he said. “The other (option) is we could cut budgets, cut people.”

The junior college has already done both.

Nearly 26,480 students were attending classes at SRJC after initial spring enrollment — down from 29,880 at the same time in 2011 and from 31,070 in the spring of 2010.

The number of sections of credit classes is down 8.7 percent since last year and the number of noncredit classes is down nearly 39 percent.

“I have a supply problem. I have plenty of demand,” President Frank Chong said Friday. “I don’t have the supply — we are cutting sections.”

If voters fail to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal on the November ballot, the impact could be dramatic at the college, Lindley and Chong said.

But Lindley acknowledged that a parcel tax, which can fund salaries and sections but needs two-thirds voter approval as opposed to a bond measure’s simple majority, can be a tough sell.

“It’s a lot easier to go after bricks and mortar,” he said. “I think voters are much more acceptable to funding new facilities rather than the operational side.”

Local voters rallied behind the college in 2002, approving a $251 million bond measure that expanded the Petaluma campus and added to and upgraded existing facilities on the Mendocino Avenue campus.

There is no timeline for when a parcel tax would go before voters if the trustees vote to move in that direction, Lindley said. He expects the board to make a decision Monday whether to push forward with a consultant or drop the idea.

“I hope we do one way or another,” he said. “We need to make a decision.”





12 Responses to “SRJC to consider parcel tax”

  1. Chuck G says:

    Enough of this ridiculous talk about parcel tax increases. As taxpayers we have to put our foot down and say enough is enough. Unfortunately many of these liberals who make our decisions were voted into office or positions of power so to speak.

    Do you feel that you’ve been let down? I sure do, my answer is no as well

  2. NO says:

    Dear Dr. Chong,

    Let me save you the expense of having a consultant contact me.

    NO, is my answer

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Taxpayer

    P.S. Great way to introduce yourself to the community.

  3. Kim says:

    Canthisbe, Oh, I know you’re right! I was going by what President Obama and the Democrat leaders were preaching in the past. ;-)

  4. Follower says:

    I recently witnessed $50,000.00 worth of completely unnecessary equipment being installed in one of the most opulent Government Buildings I’ve seen and I’ve seen some palaces!

    Later that day, watching the local news I saw a representative from that same SCHOOL DISTRICT on TV claiming they needed a tax increase to avoid laying off staff & de-funding Student Activities.

    Unfortunately so many voters never see this obscenity up close & personal so they assume that “anti-tax” people are just greedy, selfish Republicans blowing “Government Waste” out of proportion to advance their agenda.

    It’s real and it needs to STOP before they come digging deeper into OUR wallets!

  5. Education must be our number one goal. My idea is to cap credit card rates at 20% and have 25% of the fees go to local schools. Banks helped get us into this mess, they can help us get out. And they would still make 15% profit on the almost free money from the FED. This one idea would raise billions for local schools and ease the budgets issues.

  6. Canthisbe says:

    Kim – Unfortunately, the feds are NOT trying to save the middle class. They are just as busy screwing the middle class as all the liberal educators.

  7. Frank Matters says:

    As to why are 60% to 70% of my tax dollars going towards state employee’s salaries, pensions and benefits? What do I get in return for all this? I don’t get squat! I don’t get anything on investments for my tax dollars, but benefiting a whole bunch of lazy and overpaid state employees.
    I know, lets fire them if they can’t keep a budget like the rest of us
    Tax Enough Already
    no new taxes and no more Dems/libs
    http://www.examiner.com/article/rahm-emanuel-sees-public-pensions-disasters-coming-scott-walker-s-7-lead

  8. Joseph Donegan says:

    The problem with the parcel tax on Sonoma County residents is the Petaluma campus students come primarily from Marin county, they have their own community colleges, why should we be paying to educate them?
    Of course the same can be said of the illegal immigrants, and for every illegal immigrant admitted one US citizen is displaced. Absurd really.

  9. Marc says:

    I agree with all the others and now we need to pass the message around to friends and neighbors. NO to any increases! I am just waiting for the State and Schools to parade around their kids while crying poor me and claiming more money is their only solution to all their problems again.

  10. Jim says:

    The endless attempts at taking more money from the taxpayer makes me sick. Every time I turn around there is a parcel tax, a cigarette tax, a road tax, a bond measure, a sales tax, etc, etc. It NEVER ends.

    The state steals enough money to cover all necessary expenses easily. The problem is that the Legislature wastes billions of dollars on unnecessary programs, redundant departments, construction projects for union contractors and perks for connected cronies.

    They are never taken to task for the endless waste. They are never taken to task on the ever increasing benefits and perks. The Legislature quickly voted to collect their $142/day per diem over the Memorial Day weekend. They can’t seem to agree on anything except lining their pockets. Pathetic.

    When a company or a household runs into hard times, cuts are made to meet the essentials. When the state runs into a “revenue” shortfall, they don’t change anything. Small “cuts” are made to fool the idiot voters, but in reality nothing is cut. It is obvious from the $9 billion deficit that magically turned into $16 billion. Have you ever expected spending over your budget but then happen to notice you were 67% beyond your plan? Sad at a household level. Criminal at a government/state level.

    There is enough money for schools.

  11. Johnathon says:

    None of this would be needed were it not for the gross dereliction of fiscal responsibility by the Assembly and Senate in Sacramento.

    Please don’t vote for any parcel tax that helps bail out the irresponsible folks in Sacramento. They’re counting on all the different local taxes passing so that they don’t have to do their job.

    Up until now, under Dr. Agrella, SRJC was very responsible from a fiscal standpoint.

    But before he can go to the property owners for more taxes Chong needs to ask himself “What would a business do?” Hiring freeze? Layoffs? Leave positions vacant? Closure of unprofitable cost centers? Improve productivity by requiring faculty to teach more students per class?

    If Chong’s first instinct is to go for more taxes, then he is not the leader SRJC needs at this critical time.

  12. Kim says:

    Bond Measures, what a way around Prop 13!
    Is the other bond measure for SRJC already paid off? NO! These bond measures are doing what the politicians can’t do due to Prop 13, tax the home owner out of their house. Home owners are NOT a bottomless pit of money! The feds are trying to save the middle class while these liberal educators are doing the opposite.

    Peter gives and Paul takes away. Then Peter decides he’s given enough, yet Paul keeps taking. Where does that leave the middle class? What middle class, they have nothing more to take away and now are with the poverty stricken.