Measure A dispute ironed out in court | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Measure A dispute ironed out in court

Adam Jensen

After a brief hearing in El Dorado Superior Court on Tuesday, a ballot measure to provide millions of dollars for improvements at Lake Tahoe Unified School District facilities through increased property taxes is headed for a June vote.

An argument against Measure A – to be included with voter materials – landed in court because school board President Sue Novasel disputed information in the argument and filed a request to have it changed.

On Tuesday, Judge Jerald Lasarow ordered the removal of a miscalculation of the tax rate from the argument and ordered changes to wording in two other sections of the document.

Negotiations regarding the changes took place behind closed doors, and the judge lauded the two sides’ ability to come to a compromise upon entering the courtroom.

“It’s always terrific when people cooperate and settle a dispute without a judge having to force it down your throat,” Lasarow said.

While leaving the courthouse, Stephen Reinhard, the South Lake Tahoe resident who is the author of the argument against Measure A, hesitated before agreeing that he was satisfied with the alterations to the argument.

He also reiterated one of the arguments found in his opposition piece – that Measure A would not provide funding where it was needed, namely compensating underpaid teachers.

Proponents contend Measure A is the appropriate local funding mechanism to pay for much-needed upgrades to school district facilities.

If approved by 55 percent of voters, Measure A would allow LTUSD to sell up to $87 million in bonds for specific projects at district facilities, according to the language of the measure.

Approval of the measure also would make the district eligible for $11 million in California funding to replace portables and build a construction/automotive career academy at South Tahoe High School, proponents say.

A tax on properties within the district’s boundaries, estimated at 3.87 cents per $100 of assessed value of a property, would be used to pay for the principal and interest on the bonds, according to a tax-rate statement regarding the measure.

The measure will be on the ballot for the June 3 election.


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