Some things about parcel taxes

I’m not an expert on this, I’ve just been around a while.  Get the people who know more to explain it all to you and to the rest of UESF.  Ask a lot of questions and share the answers.

SF already has a parcel tax, created by Prop A in 2008, the Quality Teacher Retention Act or QTEA.  UESF members worked really hard to get it passed, walking precincts, phone banking, etc.   It has been paying for sort of “difficulty pay” bonuses, and extra pay on the steps in the pay scales for new teachers and retention bonuses but NONE of this for paras.  Check the salary schedules at the back of your union contracts, online at uesf.org and also at the SFUSD website.  QTEA also pays for PD for paras and teachers both.  And thirty percent of the income from the tax goes to the school district and not to UESF.   My family benefited directly from this, I received stipends for hard to fill positions and hard to staff schools and a retention bonus.  QTEA sunsets in 2028, ten years from now.

I worked for UESF at the time and asked how the proposition would be written.  Former president Dennis Kelly told me himself that UESF was working with the SF Chamber of Commerce and Donald Fisher, owner of Gap, to write the law so that Mr Fisher would not put money in the game to oppose it, which is smart in a way, but do we really want the super rich to be determining what we can ask for?

How is the current proposed parcel tax being written?   According to the UESF powerpoint on the TA (at uesf.org)

“Preliminary negotiations around distribution of parcel tax funds in next two weeks.”
“Already agreed to 2% add on and 1% bonus in 18/19 & additional healthcare contributions.”
“Additional details negotiated at future date.”
I wonder about this process, because this is what your “contract”, your reduced healthcare costs, extra pay raise for paras, your raises, your bonuses, etc. depends on.  Ask a lot of questions.  Who is negotiating with who?  How does it work?  Are they required to provide minutes of meetings?   Are the meetings public?  Is whatever is agreed upon permanent or subject to change?  How long will it last?  Who decides?
A parcel tax is a flat tax, and so hits low income property owners harder than big corporate landowners.  $200 per year is nothing to Salesforce.  It will take a lot of work by UESF members to get it passed.  As a retiree, I’m ready to help.  I’m a little worried though because UESF members did not come out in droves to help with the fight to get Prop 55 passed, it looked to me like most of the leg work was done by SEIU and community groups.

 

 

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