The Brentwood School District will ask Brentwood taxpayers for more money in the April 2 general election.
Proposition K would increase the school district operating tax levy ceiling by 75 cents. That's about $83 per $100,000 of home value over the 2012 taxes levied. Based on the 2011 assessed values, the median home value in Brentwood was about $160,000. Prop K would add $133 over the 2012 taxes, or about $11 per month.
Brentwood Superintendent of Schools David Faulkner said declining property valuations are the reason. He said values went down for the first time in 2009. They dropped again in 2011, and the county assessor has told him to expect down values in 2013.
“When values goes down, we have to ask to raise the rate so we can collect a similar amount of money,” he said.
He said a high school English position, a middle school science, the district-wide social worker, the middle school intern and two teachers’ assistants at the elementary schools are all open positions currently not being filled. Building maintenance is also being deferred.
“We have been cutting back quietly for the past three years,” Faulkner said. “I’ve come to realize this year that we’ve been too quiet with the cuts.”
He said the security systems need to be updated, and the schools are two years behind on the technology replacement cycle.
“We’ve got kids using computers that are five, six, seven years old,” he said. “We will use a computer until it doesn’t work anymore, but being two years behind in the cycle, we don’t have the technology that matches the educational program we’re accustomed to.”
The goal is to generate enough money to last until 2019. That’s when current city projects under tax increment financing (TIF) will be completed.
No TIFs are rolling off this year. Brentwood Square will be off in 2014 and the schools will see revenue from that in 2015. The Villas will be completed in 2016. He said the largest is the Meridian, which will be completed in 2018, and the schools will see money from that in 2019.
Faulkner said when the new assessed valuation is added to the tax rolls, the taxpayers’ rate can be reduced.
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