To commemorate the placement of another WCCUSD bond (#6) on the November ballot by our school board, I took a look at my own property tax bill to see what I was already paying even before the extra estimated $48/$100K would get tacked on.
It seemed like a lot, but what about other districts in the county? Is $232/$100K assessed value (proposed to be bumped to $280) a lot? Here are my results for the last billing cycle displayed as a table, a Tableau-generated chart, and a crude heat map.
|Unified District or Elem. District|
within High School District
|West Contra Costa||$232.20|
(The heat map’s redness is proportional to the percentage of the highest tax rate.)
How I Got This
The County Auditor publishes a list of ad valorem (per assessed value) tax rates in October. I got a link to the last report from a reporter. On page 3 is a list of the bonds and their rates. I picked them out by district (either unified K-12 or elementary within a high school district) and added them up.
You can see all of this in an online spreadsheet. The second “Tax Rates” tab lists the individual bonds; the first “By Districts” tab combines the bond tax rates and charts them.
People in the West Contra Costa Unified School District pay an incredibly disproportionate tax rate for school bonds even before tacking on an extra 20% increase in the tax rate through this proposed new bond. Remember, WCCUSD is a declining enrollment district. The closest competitors in tax rate are districts that have had substantial growth recently. While I’m sure there are rationalizations for us having a high school bond tax rate (before the new bond is even added in), the rationalizations would have to explain not just why WCCUSD is comparable to expanding districts, but why we leap over all other school districts in the county to such an exaggeratedly high tax rate.