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Community Digest

Whittier : Fees OKd to Pay for School Facilities Used by Public

August 05, 1993

Two Whittier-area school districts have approved charging property owners a fee to help maintain district athletic fields, basketball courts and other recreational facilities open to the public.

Board members from the Whittier Union High School District unanimously approved the fee Tuesday.

Owners of single-family homes will pay $20 a year. Condominium, mobile home and apartment owners will be charged $15.76 per unit. Commercial, business and industrial property owners will be billed $25 to $50.

District officials said the fee will raise $1.4 million next year and will be used to replace lighting, pave parking lots, repair swimming pools and resurface basketball, volleyball and tennis courts at the district's six campuses.

The Whittier City School District board approved the fee Monday by a 3-1 vote.

Owners of residential, commercial and industrial property will pay $22.50 a year. School officials said the fee will raise about $400,000 next year. The money will be used to install new sprinkler systems in school buildings, improve playground equipment and pave blacktops.

Critics have called the fees illegal property taxes, but the Whittier Union High School District successfully defended the fees in court against some local residents and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., an anti-tax group. Last month, the state Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Jarvis group of the lower court's ruling.

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