The school board, faced with the prospect of continuing budget shortfalls, has decided to ask the voters to approve a parcel tax to raise about $700,000 a year in new school funds over the next five years.
The board voted unanimously last week to put the tax, which would cost property owners an additional $98 a year for each parcel of property, before the voters in a special election June 6. The measure will require the approval of two-thirds of the city's voters to pass.
A survey of 402 voters last month showed that 60% would support the tax, while 23% said they would vote against it, officials said. "That means we have to persuade another 7%," school Supt. Lou Joseph said. The survey was performed by a Santa Monica firm that was hired by the city's Financial Strategy Planning Committee, a 22-member panel that has been looking for solutions to the district's burgeoning budget problems.