Yes on Measure A

By Dave Fratello | May 31st, 2022

A few things are beyond dispute.

Manhattan Beach is a great place to live.

Manhattan Beach's public schools are top-performing.

Manhattan Beach's schools are a big draw for people looking to move here.

Manhattan Beach's home prices are far above neighboring areas, up to 25-35% more for comparable product.

And... to tie it all together, there is a relationship between the attractiveness of Manhattan Beach as a great place to live, its great schools and its high home prices.

This brings us to Measure A, a parcel tax of $1,095/yr. that's on the June 7 ballot.

Due to the odd way that California finances education, only local parcel taxes like Measure A provide 100% local funds. (Our income taxes and local property taxes flow to Sacramento before coming back via various formulas.)

And unlike past parcel taxes with short time frames, this one will run 12 years, offering long-term stability, regardless of the state's boom-and-bust cycles.

Dave is not only proudly "Yes on A," he helped by signing ballot pamphlet arguments in favor, along with three city council members, big names in local industry and veterans of our schools and ed foundation. We hope you will be a yes, too.

Our focus, professionally, is on property values.

With Measure A, we will see our local schools receive a boost of roughly 14% to the overall district budget, enough to finally overcome decades' worth of inadequate state funding, as well as more recent cutbacks under state funding formulas.

The duration of Measure A funding also offers a full generation's worth of stability. This is a solid manner to protect and enhance property values.

At the same time, seniors, low-income and disabled persons can receive the benefits of Measure A while being exempt from paying. They need apply only once for an exemption, as has been the case with the current, expiring parcel tax, Measure MB.

Without Measure A, we can expect more of the painfully tight budgeting of recent years, constant shifting of funds to protect programs, pink-slipping of teachers and other support staff, and lack of investment in textbooks and technology. (Probably not this year, as the state has a surplus it might "share," but this stuff changes very fast in California.)

Without Measure A, our local nonprofit Manhattan Beach Education Foundation will be ever more focused on protecting core programs rather than expanding arts, sciences and enrichment activities, as was its original mission. The annual "ask" for MBEF is now far greater, per student, than the proposed parcel tax, but even the millions MBEF collects just barely fills the holes.

We're most concerned that voter defeat of Measure A could be perceived as the local population's endorsement of cuts that would diminish education quality. That could start a clock ticking to diminish local property values, too.

Now, Dave signed up to support Measure A knowing that there is always some opposition on measures like this. Recent school facilities bonds and parcel taxes for education passed with enormous support, but still about 30% voted no.

As a real estate broker, you kind of want to avoid saying or doing anything that might upset anyone. You want to be the person who's known for saying dogs are great, babies are cute and it's always a good time to sell or buy a home.

Having seen just about everything said against Measure A, there's nothing persuasive enough to switch. Quite simply, a "no" vote is likely to harm both Manhattan Beach schools and Manhattan Beach property values.

If you see it all differently, we'll respect that and whatever your reasons may be.

The issue seems both concrete and important. Great schools make MB great. Great schools inspire people to buy homes here and keep values up.

Measure A will cost a little, and pay off big. Yes on Measure A.

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