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San Mateo County readies for parcel-tax vote

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Local,Science and Technology,Will Reisman

Residents in Daly City, Brisbane, San Carlos and Woodside who wish to vote on tax measures for their local school district have until tomorrow to register for the county’s special all-mail-ballot election.

Measures A, B and C are all related to parcel tax increases or extensions, with the revenue generated benefitting Jefferson Elementary School District, San Carlos School District, and Woodside Elementary School District, respectively.

Ballots for those already registered were mailed out on April 6, according to the county elections office. In order to be counted, ballots must be received — not postmarked — by Tuesday, May 5, according to the elections office.

About 35 percent of the 60,000 registered voters in the towns of Daly City, Brisbane, San Carlos and Woodside are expected to cast a ballot in the election, according to David Tom, elections manager for San Mateo County.

Residents are encouraged to mail in their ballots five days before the May 5 election date, to ensure their votes are counted, Tom said. Voters can also drop off their ballots at the city halls in the four municipalities participating in the election. Preliminary results from the election should be available by 8:05 p.m. on May 5, Tom said.

In the Jefferson Elementary School District, which encompasses Daly City and Brisbane, voters will be asked to approve an $85 a year parcel tax, a funding mechanism that would generate about $1.5 million a year for retaining and attracting high-quality teachers, according to Matteo Rizzo, the district’s superintendent.

San Carlos residents will vote on increasing their yearly parcel tax from $110 to $188, an increase that would account for $800,000 annually, according to district documents. The revenue would go toward sustaining arts, music, science and literacy programs.

The Woodside Elementary School District has put forth a proposition to extend and slightly increase a parcel tax of $233 a year that was first approved by voters in 2001. The tax would go up annually based on the cost percentage index in the Bay Area, which projects a four percent yearly increase, according to Jessica Lonergan, who has run the ballot campaign for the Woodside Elementary School District.

All three measures would be controlled by local authorities, and could not be subject to state budget cuts.

"We know it’s tough in these times to ask anyone for tax increases, but I think people can take some solace knowing that this money is guaranteed to stay in the district," Lonergan said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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