There are four measures on East Bay ballots for the Nov. 5 election. Voters should back them all.
Moraga Measure B
Moraga school officials, after failing last year to win two-thirds approval for a parcel tax increase, are trying again.
This time, the proposed tax is less, $192, and, significantly, the measure contains a sunset provision. The tax would expire in 2020. Voters should back Measure B.
However, voters should realize how the charge would fit into their total tax bills for schools, key information missing from the ballot pamphlet.
Because children attend Moraga schools for K-8 education and the larger Acalanes district for high school, property owners pay taxes to two school districts.
Measure B seeks the $192 parcel tax to help fund ongoing expenses for K-8. That's on top of three other parcel taxes in the two districts that already cost $626 annually.
Property owners also pay about $62 for every $100,000 of assessed value to retire school construction bonds, an amount that will increase in coming years.
In sum, a homeowner with an average assessed value of $619,992 currently pays about $1,013 annually in extra property taxes for education. That would increase to $1,205 under Measure B.
Antioch Measure C
Antioch leaders failed in 2010 to persuade voters to raise the city sales tax. It was a different time. The economy was in recession, the state sales tax was higher and the city hadn't made many tough cuts that later transpired.
This time, Measure C seeks a one-half-cent increase for seven years. That would bring the sales tax to 9 percent, matching cities such as Concord, Pittsburg and Richmond.
Given the huge financial hit the city endured from declining property tax revenues, the 40 percent staffing reduction, city workers' increased contributions toward their pensions and the need for more police and code enforcement officers, voters should support Measure C.
But city officials also need to more responsibly address retirement benefits by making payments toward the city's retiree health debt and ending the gimmick that enables workers to spike their pensions by 8 percent to 9 percent.
San Ramon Measures D and E
San Ramon voters are being asked to move City Council and mayoral elections from odd- to even-numbered years.
Local elections don't get the attention they deserve when they're held in even-numbered years along with state and national elections. But all other Contra Costa jurisdictions now conduct their balloting in even-numbered years, leaving the lone holdout, San Ramon, unable to share election costs.
So vote yes on Measures D and E.