Declining Brentwood Property Values Prompt Prop K for Schools

The tax levy could be rolled back when current TIF projects are paid off.

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.

See related in Patch:

  • Brentwood Basketball Captain Meredith McGrath to Major in Journalism
  • Brentwood Preschool Tuition Hike Approved
Karen Smith February 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
P. Marsden I too have watched these TIFs and I am interested in the facts you might have to share as I do feel our Schools have suffered from this economic development tools. I have been against these economic tools such as TIFs for many reasons, one of which it that it diverts much needed revenue from the Schools; the Schools are not able to benefit from the increased property values for years -- rather the developers benefit. And although Brentwood has one TIF paid off (the Promenade) it was not paid off until just recently; revenues were diverted for years. And we still have 4 more to go. I believe one of the developments funneled excess funds to the Schools...but I believe it was only for one year. So I am not sure that our Schools have really benefited from all of the development in Brentwood as of yet. The lack of transparency around these vehicles is also problematic.
Mr. Completely March 01, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Jees….if the Tiff’s were the panacea that they were represented to be would we be having this discussion? Brentwood resident have outsourced their thinking on fiscal matters to people who claimed to be experts and knew more than we did. Now homeowners must take on extra real estate taxes in the face of declining home values to support our schools while wealthy developers have been given a pass. Seems like the experts were wrong. Vote no on all new taxes, bond issues, whatever until new leadership is in place.
W March 01, 2013 at 06:53 PM
If property values are down how is it my appraisal is up every 2 years as well as my tax bill?
Doug Miner March 03, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Hey folks, David Faulkner is hosting Q&A on Prop K on Tuesday at the district headquarters. >> http://patch.com/E-vf06
Liz O'Brien Ault March 08, 2013 at 03:43 AM
I've already voted. No, No, No. Only 3 things on ballot. I've lived in Brentwood 30 years, and the family I married in to has been here for 60 years. Let's destroy homes in the "hollow" for Promenade - will help pay taxes and reduce mine, What a joke. I agree with those that say vote NO on anything that will increase prop taxes.


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