Brisbane parcel tax too close to call; schools would benefit 

Voters in the Brisbane Elementary School District on Tuesday were close to rejecting a $156 annual parcel tax that school officials say would have closed a $500,000 budget deficit.

Because the measure involved a tax, it was required to pass by two-thirds of the vote. With 1,218 votes cast, 65.7 percent voted for Measure Q, falling short of the threshold.

The 550-student district in San Mateo County, which has a total operating budget of about $6 million, sent layoff notices to nearly one-third of its teachers in March. School board members and parents referred often to those pink slips as they knocked on doors and called voters in an attempt to garner support for the tax.

The tax, which would have taken effect in July and expired in 2018, would have covered teacher salaries, technology, libraries and other educational programs.

Brisbane, which has been forced to trim expenses for several years running, is sharing a superintendent and business office with the neighboring Bayshore Elementary School District. The districts, which are both small and both financially strained, are considering a merger to save money.

Just last year, Brisbane voters supported a $119 per parcel levy that will expire in 2016. The $300,000 it brings in covers art and music teachers, as well as reading instructors.

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