This measure may be known and referred to as the "Pittsburg Unified School District Excellence in Education Act of 2008" or as "Measure C".
Terms and Purposes. Upon approval of two-thirds of those voting on this measure, the District shall be authorized to and shall levy a qualified special tax of $65 per year on each parcel of taxable real property in the District, for a period limited to seven years commencing July 1, 2009. The tax shall be adjusted annually, commencing July 1, 2010, to account for the impact of inflation on the cost of delivering the classroom programs and student services supported by the tax, as determined by the Board, by an amount limited to $6 per year.
The tax shall be known and referred to as the "Excellence in Education Act."
Proceeds of the Excellence in Education Act shall be authorized to be used to provide financial support to school programs and activities as follows:
Senior Citizen Exemption. In order to provide relief to senior citizens in the community, any parcel owned and occupied by a person 65 years of age or older shall be exempt from the Excellence in Education Act upon proper application to the District. The exemption shall be available pursuant to procedures to be prescribed by the Board of Education or otherwise as required by law or by the Contra Costa County Tax Collector.
Accountability Measures. The members of the Board of Education, the District Superintendent, and officers of the District are hereby requested and directed, individually and collectively, to provide accountability measures pursuant to Government Code section 50075.1 that include, but are not limited to, all of the following: (i) a statement indicating the specific purposes of the qualified special tax, (ii) a requirement that the proceeds be applied only to the specific purposes identified pursuant to subsection (i), (iii) the creation of a separate special account into which the proceeds from the special taxes shall be deposited, and (iv) an annual report pursuant to Section 50075.3. of the Government Code.
Independent Annual Audit and Annual Report. Upon the levy and collection of the Excellence in Education Act, the Board of Education shall cause an account to be established for deposit of the proceeds. For so long as any proceeds of the Excellence in Education Act remain unexpended, the Superintendent of the District shall cause an independent financial auditor to prepare a report to be filed with the Board of Education no later than January 1 of each year, commencing January 1, 2010, stating (1) the amount of Excellence in Education Act funds received and expended in such year, and (2) the status of any projects or description of any programs funded from proceeds of the tax. The report may relate to the calendar year, fiscal year, or other appropriate annual period, as the Superintendent shall determine, and may be incorporated into or filed with the annual budget, audit, or other appropriate routine report to the Board of Education.
Specific Purposes. All of the purposes named in the measure shall constitute the specific purposes of the Excellence in Education Act, and proceeds of the tax shall be applied only for such purposes.
The Excellence in Education Act shall be collected by the Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector at the same time and in the same manner and shall be subject to the same penalties as ad valorem property taxes collected by the Treasurer-Tax Collector. Unpaid taxes shall bear interest at the same rate as the rate for unpaid ad valorem property taxes until paid.
"Parcel of taxable real property" shall be defined as any unit of real property in the District which receives a separate tax bill for ad valorem property taxes from the Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office.
All property which is otherwise exempt from or on which are levied no ad valorem property taxes in any year shall also be exempt from the Excellence in Education Act in such year. The Contra Costa County Assessor's determination of exemption or relief for any reason of any parcel from taxation, other than through the Senior Citizen Exemption, shall be final and binding for the purposes of the Excellence in Education Act. Taxpayers wishing to challenge the County Assessor's determination must do so under the procedures for correcting a misclassification of property pursuant to Section 4876.5 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code or other applicable procedures. Taxpayers seeking a refund of any Excellence in Education Act paid shall follow the procedures applicable to property tax refunds pursuant to the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
In addition, parcels owned and occupied by persons 65 years of age or older may be exempt from the Excellence in Education Act as described above. The District shall annually provide a list of parcels to the Contra Costa County tax collection officials which the District has approved for a Senior Citizen Exemption from the Excellence in Education Act.
The collection of taxes pursuant to this Measure shall be for seven (7) years, commencing July 1, 2009 and expiring June 30, 2016.
The Board of Education hereby declares, and the voters by approving this measure concur, that every section, paragraph, sentence and clause of this measure has independent value, and the Board of Education and the voters would have adopted each provision hereof regardless of every other provision hereof. Upon approval of this measure by the voters, should any part be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.