On behalf of California's K-14 students, Educate Our State has submitted a ballot initiative, tentatively titled "The Protection of Local Schools Revenues" to California's Attorney General, which will give equal protection toproperty taxes in each county allocated to public education. In 2004 Prop 1A, The Protection of Local Government Revenues, which was passed by 83.7% of the voters, protected ALL local property taxrevenues except those allocated to public education. Since 2004, the State has been taking public education's share of the property taxes collected in every county and spending it on the state's non-education-related debts. Last year this amounted to $7 Billion per year being taken inproperty taxes that were allocated to our schools. Though the net effect is revenue neutral, it is literally siphoning off moreand more stable revenue (local property taxes) that was destined for the schools of California's poorest children.
Taxpayers deserve to know where their local property taxes are going. Children deserve equal protection under the law. Our state constitution says the education of children should be our first priority. Let's begin by providing equal protection to public education.
We have until April 15th to gather signatures and qualify this for the November ballot. Will you give us a few hours of your time? You can sign on at www.YesForEducation.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Riverside County, more than $357,594,182 was taken out of school-allocated property taxes to pay State obligations in 2010-2011. Over $298,852,120 was redirected to satisfy the State's VLF backfill obligation and more than $58,742,062 was redirected to pay for the State's 2004 Economic Recovery Bonds. (Incomplete information was filed by the receiving entities in Riverside County.)
Riverside County schools did not receive $374,769,787 of their state funding until after the 2010-11 school year was over. The delayed payments grew to $521,761,546 for the 2011-12 school year, before declining (thanks to Prop 30) to $359,391,164 this past summer.
Of the money taken from all local school-allotted property tax, $104,125,740 was taken from the K-12 schools’ base property tax allocation, and$16,548,364 from theCommunity Colleges base property tax allocation, after all the county’s $255 million Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund had been emptied.
Sources: For deferrals, see the Funding Excel Files - Second Principal Apportionment from the California Dept. of Education; for “negative ERAF” -- monies taken from base allocations, see Ed-data.k12.ca.us from the CA Dept. of Education and the apportionment reports on the California Community CollegesChancellor's website.
Unfortunately, these base tax diversions don't show up in the information published to local residents. A local taxpayer might, reasonably, assume that his/her schools were receiving almost half of the property tax dollars remitted, where 21% is closer to the actual amount! (Of the total general 1% tax levy, of around $2.7 billion, $500 million goes to schools and $57 million tocommunity colleges ... about a fifth.) In Riverside County, almost 26¢ of every tax dollar is redirected to repay the state's obligations -- just slightly less than goes for Redevelopment.
How did we arrive at this conclusion? We can see the percentages above on the Auditor-Controller's AB8 Apport Factor AUCB9903 spreadsheetavailable on the website. But that spreadsheet doesn't reflect the $120 million that was taken away from educational base property tax allocations. (Do you see how this this bizarre mechanism for repaying the state's debtsconfuses everyone?)
From the Riverside Auditor-Controller's PAFR 2012 Financial Highlights report.