Voters who live within the Chico Unified School District are being asked whether they want to extend the tax rate for a measure that was passed in 1998. Back then, voters were told that Measure A was a school bond property tax hike that would raise $48 million for the district, and specifically, it would pay for a needed third Chico High School. Says Assistant Superintendent Maureen Fitztgerald, "At that time, there was a need for the high school, but by the time the bond started to get drawn, there was no longer a need for a third high school. So we redirected it to the students that would have been served by that high school."
Still, some residents were angered that they were stuck with the property tax increase.
Now that Measure A is set to expire, Measure E has been proposed. It would extend Measure A's tax rate, but not increase it. Fitzgerald says, "The most important part in all of this, is it does not impact taxpayers' bill with an increase at all. It's staying with the current rate on their tax bill, lengthening it a little longer."
The Butte Taxpayers' Association says it has not taken a stance on Measure E because more research is needed. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald says if Measure E fails, the tax rate will take several years to drop off.