Voters in the Lafayette School District have approved an additional parcel tax that will bring local schools $6 million in new revenue over the next four years.
The initial count of 10,048 ballots shows Measure B, a $176-per-parcel tax, passing with 74 percent of the vote, easily clearing the required two-thirds voter approval threshold.
Ballots returned Tuesday were not included in the initial tally, and election officials will begin counting them Wednesday.
Supporters say the additional $1.5 million annually is necessary to preserve core programs amid plummeting state funding. They erupted in cheers upon hearing the news at a victory celebration.
"We're just thrilled that Lafayette is supporting education," said Measure B co-coordinator Juleen Lapporte.
In March, trustees made more than $1 million in cuts to help close a projected $2.2 million deficit. Teachers agreed to four furlough days as part of those reductions.
Measure B's opponents called the tax unfair because any senior can exempt themselves from the new assessment, regardless of income level, and owners of large parcels will pay the same rate as single-family home owners.
The parcel tax is the third in as many years for Lafayette voters, who approved Acalanes Union High School District taxes in 2009 and 2010.
The Lafayette district already has a $332 parcel tax, which will expire in 2015 along with the Measure B tax.
Combined with donations through parent clubs and the local education foundation, community money makes up about 17 percent of the district's budget.
The Lafayette School District includes four elementary schools and a middle school.
Contact Jonathan Morales at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/sosaysjonathan.