Business » Measure G FAQ

Measure G FAQ

Measure G is on the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot. Mail-in ballots will be arriving to all registered voters soon after February 5 and can be returned to the Ballot Dropbox at Albany City Hall, by U.S. mail, or hand delivered to your polling station on March 5. For more information about the election, please visit https://www.acvote.org/index. Detailed information about Measure G can be found here on their website.
 
If passed, Measure G would REPLACE and expand a previous parcel tax, Measure B, beginning in the 2024 tax year. 
 
 
Q. What does the ballot measure say?
A. "To maintain excellent schools by attracting and retaining exceptional teachers and counselors, protecting science, math, arts, reading and language instruction, supporting music, art and theater programs, and maintaining small class sizes, shall Albany Unified School District's measure renewing parcel tax authority at $0.55/building square foot and $25/unimproved parcel, be adopted, raising $4,800,000 annually that cannot be taken by the State, until ended by voters, with senior exemptions, annual adjustments, audits, and all funds staying local?"
Q. If passed, what could the revenue from Measure G be used for?
A. According to its legal terms, Measure G funds could be used to attract and retain exceptional teachers and counselors; protect science, math, arts, reading, and language instruction; support music, art, and theater programs; and maintain small class sizes. 
Q. Who can vote on Measure G?
A. All Alameda County voters registered as residents of Albany, California may vote on Measure G. 
Q. Didn't the school district pass a parcel tax recently?
A. Yes, Measure B passed in 2020 and is set to expire in a few years. If Measure G passes, it would immediately REPLACE Measure B beginning in the 2024 tax year. The two measures would never both be active.
Q. How is Measure G different than Measure B?
A. Measure B is a "flat tax" of $490 per parcel. Large commercial buildings and small homes pay the same amount under Measure B. Measure G is a "square footage rate" tax. Each parcel is assessed according to the size of the building on it. Smaller buildings will pay less than larger buildings. 
Q. Is Measure J similar or different than Measure G?
A. In 2009, Measure J combined three parcel taxes (passed in 1987, 1999, and 2005) into one. It generates about $4.5 million annually and has provided longstanding funding for school library and mental health services, science, technology, arts, music courses and athletics, small class sizes, and attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers. It is similar to Measure G in the areas of education that it supports. However, it differs from Measure G in that it specifies a flat rate of $555 per residential unit and eleven cents/sq.ft. on nonresidential parcels. 
Q. I feel like I am already paying a lot. Why does the school district ask for more?
A. Albany's schools draw many families with young children to our community. We have some of the best public schools in the state. Our quality schools improve our community and safeguard the value of our homes.
 
However, the funding AUSD receives from the state does not explain this excellence. In fact, we receive far LESS funding than the average California district because we have fewer students in the highest need categories (these are English learners, low-income students, and foster children). Albany has relied on local funding, meaning additional support of the schools through parcel taxes, for decades. 
 
When comparing taxes, the logical way to measure is on a per pupil basis. Schools must hire teachers and support staff based on how many students are enrolled. Large communities can spread a tax levy over many parcels to generate the necessary funds to run the schools. Because Albany is a small community, even passing Measure G will not raise AUSD to the state average of per student funds. Although Measure G would greatly relieve current shortfalls, per pupil funding would increase to around $16,400, still far short of the $18,793 state average. 
Q. What would happen if Measure G does not pass?
A. AUSD would continue to have Measure B until 2026. However, with the declared deficit of $2,550,000, cuts would need to be made throughout the District. See the budget resolution passed by the Board of Education in December 2023. It states, in part:
 
The Board of Education will develop, prioritize, and adopt specific expenditure reductions for 2024-25 amounting to $2,550,000 on or before the March 12, 2024 Board Meeting in order to meet the State minimum reserve level through 2026-27. AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the reductions will be incorporated in the Multi-Year Projection that is presented with the 2023-24 Second Interim Report and, and will be implemented no later than the March 12, 2024 Board Meeting
 
If Measure G passes, the revenue expectation would be changed and a new budget scenario could be planned. 
 
UPDATE: The Governor's Budget Proposal, released in mid-January, had a much lower cost of living adjustment (COLA) than had been previously stated. This downward adjustment, although it is not yet final, results in an INCREASE in the deficit AUSD may face to $2,900,000.
Q. I have heard that the Governor’s Budget Proposal for 2024–25 contains a 0.76% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to the funds schools receive. Will that be enough to cover District expenses?
A. No, a COLA of less than 1% will not cover ongoing expenses. It will require a COLA of around 6% to cover the annual increases in expenses, such as increases in the cost of health insurance, increased utility costs, and the annual increases in teacher’s salaries based on their years of experience. In June 2023, the guidance from the State was a 3.95% COLA for 2024–25, so this has been an unwelcome development. 
Q. I need more detail on the annual increases in expenses and the projected deficits. Where can I find that?
A. At the January 23, 2024 Board of Education meeting, a presentation by AUSD’s Chief Business Official explained why the Governor’s proposed budget will not cover AUSD’s increased expenses over the next several years and documents the magnitude of the deficit that we must address. Please spend a few minutes looking over the slides or watching the video.
Q. What does Golden Gate Fields have to do with Albany's school funding?
A. Golden Gate Fields pays over half a million dollars annually in parcel taxes to Albany Unified. Stronach Group, the owner of Golden Gate Fields, has announced that they will be closing the track this year. The last races have been announced for June 2024. Although AUSD has no information about the possible transfer of this large tract of shoreline property, it is an area of concern. If some or all of the property were transferred to a non-taxable entity, such as the State of California, AUSD parcel tax revenue would be reduced. 
Q. Why does Measure G not have a set expiration date?
A. The need for quality teachers will never go away. AUSD needs to offer competitive compensation to attract the best teachers. Without Measure G, our schools will continue to lose top teachers to higher paying districts or to more affordable communities. Measure G can be repealed at any time by local citizens if the school funding situation changes and it is no longer deemed necessary.
Q. Are there controls on how revenue from parcel taxes can be spent?
A. Yes, the ballot language defines how parcel tax revenue can be spent. Revenue from all parcel taxes becomes part of the District’s General Fund, but it is designated for specific expenses detailed by the ballot language, and the District tracks its use. Currently, parcel tax revenue accounts for 11% of the District’s total budget and has stabilized funding during the ups and downs of the State budget. 
Q. I am a senior on a fixed income. Will exemptions be available?
A. Absolutely. If Measure G passes, an exemption form will be posted to the AUSD website to apply. Exemptions categories are those 65 years of age, (Senior Citizen Exemption); those receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, (SSI Exemption); or those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250 percent of the 2012 federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, (SSDI Exemption). Details will be available on the form. 
Q. What kind of oversight on spending will there be on Measure G?
A. According to the full ballot language, which is legally binding, the District will provide the Board of Education with annual reports of how Measure G revenue was used. 

Annual Reports. No later than December 31 of each year while the tax is in effect, the District shall prepare and file with the Board a report detailing the amount of funds collected and expended, and the status of any project authorized to be funded by this Measure. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period, and may be incorporated into or filed with the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board.