Parcel Tax & Parcel Tax Exemptions
On November 2, 2004, voters approved a special Parcel Tax assessment of $98 per parcel for six years. In 2010, voters approved a six year extension of the parcel tax, keeping the $98 tax assessment. On November 4, 2014 the voters approved a six year extension of the annual $98 parcel tax commencing July 1, 2016. The tax is assessed against each parcel of taxable land in the District. A parcel is defined as any unit of land in the District that receives a separate tax bill from the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office. Any property that would otherwise be exempt from property taxes will also be exempt from the qualified special tax.
Parcel Tax funds allow Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) to preserve core academic classes, maintain qualified and experienced teachers and school employees and to continue programs that help our students qualify for college.
On November 3, voters in FUHSD will have the opportunity to vote on Measure M, which would renew the District's existing $98 parcel tax.
What is Measure M?
Measure M will support our local high schools, Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista, through the renewal of a parcel tax first approved by voters in 2004. This measure will continue to provide support for the Fremont Union High School District, one of the most respected and highest performing high school districts in California.
All funds will be used to provide our high schools with reliable, stable funds to support classroom programs and to continue to attract and retain the outstanding teachers and staff our community expects. Measure M will not raise taxes and explicitly prohibits funds from being used on administrator salaries.
Measure M funds will be used to:
- Maintain strong academic programs in science, math, social studies, technology and engineering;
- Prepare students for college and careers;
- Support the District’s academic programs, including the purchase of instructional equipment, materials and supplies; and
- Attract and retain high quality teachers and staff.
What have parcel tax funds supported?
Our schools have consistently used taxpayer dollars wisely. When the economy collapsed in 2008, parcel tax funds prevented teacher and staff layoffs and preserved core academic classes. Measure M renews a local, reliable source of funds that has strengthened the classroom programs in our high schools for the past 16 years.
What happens if Measure M is not renewed?
Without Measure M, the District will lose $5 million per year, making it more difficult to attract great teachers and provide the same variety of course options offered to our students. Great teachers are at the center of student achievement, but our high schools have lost some of our best teachers over the past several years because they can no longer afford to live in our community. The passage of Measure M will help keep teacher and support staff salaries competitive to prevent our top quality teachers and staff from leaving.
How do I know Measure M funds will be spent as planned?
Measure M provides strict accountability on how the local funds are spent. Measure M requires annual audits with an Independent Citizens Oversight Committee to ensure all funds are spent to benefit our students.
What is a parcel tax?
A parcel tax is a special school tax commonly used by local school districts to help fund classroom programs. School districts have discretion on how to use funds, but often they are used to attract and retain qualified teachers and staff, keep class sizes small, give struggling students the help they need to master basic skills, fund art and music programs, and improve math and science programs.
What is the difference between a parcel tax and a bond?
A parcel tax charges each property owner the same amount each year—regardless of the assessed value of the property. Parcel taxes are generally used to raise local funds to support classroom programs. Bonds are used to raise school construction funds.
Will senior citizens be eligible for an exemption from Measure M?
Yes, a complete exemption from Measure M is available to those who are at least 65 years old and own and occupy a home in the district.
Can the State take parcel tax money from the local school district?
No, the State cannot take parcel tax money from local districts.
Optional Exemptions from the $98 FUHSD Parcel Tax are available to senior citizens (65 years or older) who own and occupy, as a principal residence, a single parcel and apply to the District for exemption. Senior citizens who did not apply for an exemption and have paid the tax in full for the current tax year may apply for a refund. An exemption for 2 contiguous parcels is possible (upon approval of the District) for special circumstances.
Optional Exemptions from the $98 FUHSD Parcel Tax are also available to disabled citizen (SSI/SSDI) who own and occupy, as a principal residence, a single parcel and apply to the District for exemption.
Contiguous parcel exemptions are also available. The contiguous parcel exemption allows a property owner to combine adjacent parcels (parcels that share a common border) into one taxable unit. These combined parcels must also be used solely for owner-occupied, single-family residential purposes. All applications for a Contiguous Parcel tax exemption must also include parcel maps for verification and verification that no residences exist on other parcels.
If you would like the School District to receive $98 for your parcel, then there is no need to request and exemption.
Please remember that property tax bills should arrive at your home in October. If you qualify for a Senior Citizen Exemption and have not yet applied for one, please remember that you must have a copy of your 2017-18 Property Tax bill prior turning in your exemption application. If you would like a refund, keep in mind you must pay your bill first before coming to the District Office to request your refund. Please read below for more information.