The Board of Education has voted to place the renewal of the Oak Park USD Parcel Tax before the voters in a special all-mail election to be held on May 2, 2017. This measure generates approximately $900,000 per year for our schools. These funds are used to pay for additional teaching positions and so are responsible for creating lower class sizes at all levels, K-12. Specifically, these funds pay for six elementary teachers and five secondary teachers. The loss of these funds would negatively affect class sizes at all levels.
The parcel tax was first approved by voters in 2004 for a period of five years, and then voters renewed it in 2008 for eight more years. Both times it passed with over 80% support. It expires on June 30 and requires a 66.67% YES vote. The amount is a simple $197 per parcel in Oak Park. Senior citizens (65+) who live in their homes may file for an exemption from the tax. This time the measure also allows people with disabilities to file for an exemption. Also, a provision was included that will only require a single exemption with an automatic annual renewal for our senior citizens and the disabled.
The parcel tax is entirely different than bond funds. The bond that was passed in November will be used to pay for facilities, equipment, and technology only. Bond funds cannot be used for ongoing expenses such as class size reduction.
The Oak Park Unified School District accepts requests for Senior Exemptions for the Measure C Parcel Tax. Senior citizens 65 years old or older may go to the District’s Support Services Office at 5801 E. Conifer Street, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to get an exemption form or you may call to request a form be mailed to you by calling 818-735-3206.
Seniors must bring to the Oak Park Unified School District Support Services Office the completed and signed form along with your tax assessment bill with parcel number and address shown and proof of your age. Accepted forms of proof of age are drivers license/State I.D. card, passport or birth certificate. This must be your primary residence, rental properties are not eligible for exemption.
All exemptions must be submitted and verified by May 31 of the current year. You may be 65 at any time during the year you file for the exemption, even after the filing date.
Under provisions of the newly proposed renewal measure on the May 2, 2017 ballot, there will be a one-time only exemption that will not require an annual renewal. All current exemptions will be rolled into the new measure.