Parcel tax for Los Altos schools passes

Voters in the Los Altos School District have approved a $295 parcel tax with 75% of the vote, more than the two-thirds necessary.

The total was 6,401 in favor (75.1%) of Measure A to 2,116 against (24.8%). The measure received 720 more votes than necessary to pass.

The measure replaces the existing $223 parcel tax and adds $72 more. Annual increases of 4% are built into the tax, which lasts for eight years.

If Measure A failed, the school board warned it would have to make $3 million in cuts. On the other hand, passage will allow the board to raise teacher salaries. New teachers start at $71,657, and the most experienced teachers can make up to $135,113.

Property owners over 65 can apply each year to be exempt from the tax.

Mayor’s view Los Altos Hills Mayor Linda Swan opposed Measure A. She doesn’t think the district should’ve called a special election or put a cap on how much money goes to Bullis Charter School.

The special election is estimated to cost the district $800,000 – money that could’ve been spent on teacher salaries, Swan said in a letter.

Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District have had a contentious relationship for years. The school board voted to cap how much the charter school can get from the parcel tax at $625,000 per year.

Swan doesn’t like the cap because it means less money per student at Bullis.


  1. For the life of me, I will never understand people voting to raise their own taxes, let alone raising other people’s taxes.

  2. The district isn’t living within its means. Make some cuts before you ask residents to make cuts in their household budgets to afford your tax.

  3. The teachers union insists on closing the schools. Then school resumes and test scores fall — even here in Los Altos — and then solid, unbiased studies say the school closings were unnecessary. So we reward the teachers and administrators with raises? That’s why I voted no.

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