Looking for ways to accommodate its continually rapid growth, the Reed Union School District is seeking to increase its parcel tax income.

If passed, Measure B will renew the existing parcel tax for eight years and add $138 per year to each assessed property. Reed currently receives $370 per parcel, from a tax voters approved in 2007. That assessment, set to expire in 2016 started at $319 in the first year, and has increased 3 percent each year since. The 3 percent escalator would remain with the tax's renewal.

The election is mail-in only. Ballots will be sent out Monday, and must be received by the county elections office by May 6, said Registrar of Voters Elaine Ginnold. Ballots can be dropped off in the council chambers at Tiburon Town Hall, 1505 Tiburon Blvd.
The measure needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

"Our growth in enrollment is really pushing this, especially since our property taxes have been flat the last five years," said Reed Superintendent Steven Herzog. "We're just having less resources to provide the programming we have in place."

While most school districts receive state funding, Reed does not, due the Tiburon Peninsula's high property values. The district is primarily funded by local property taxes, so "more kids (moving into the district) don't translate to more money," Herzog said.
The increase would put the per-parcel assessment at $508 in its first year, with a 3 percent increase each year. That remains lower than the roughly $1,000 Mill Valley School District receives per parcel, Kentfield School District's $940, and Ross School District's $750.

Herzog said the district arrived at the proposed increase value through polling to see how much more local residents would be willing to pay.

"We think we're pushing the envelope on how much is tolerable," he said.

The district currently receives $1.4 million annually in parcel taxes. Measure B would bump that to $1.9 million. District officials said the extra money is needed to help the district maintain its level of programming, as its classrooms continue to fill up.
Reed, which draws students from Belvedere, Tiburon and part of Corte Madera, has grown from about 1,000 students to more than 1,500 in the last decade.

Residents 65 years or older who live within the district's borders have an optional exemption. There are about 5,000 parcels within the Reed district, of which 1,000 residents invoke the exemption.

The tax increase will not likely alleviate all the pressures created by the bulging enrollment, so district officials are talking about floating a bond in the next couple years, possibly to rebuild on the old Granada school site, which currently houses six private pre-schools.