3/31/2010 10:51:00 AM Editorial: Sales tax increase may become truly necessary
The Humboldt Unified School District faced up to more bad news this week as it grappled with a $1.8 million budget deficit, exacerbated by the State legislature's requirement that the district increase its retirement contribution by about $88,000, and its removal of payment for all-day kindergarten classes, a loss of $1,150,000 for the district.
A decrease in student enrollment results in a projected $440,000 loss, and a likely 5 percent increase in health insurance costs of $150,000 brings the shortfall to $1,828,000.
Unknown expenses include an additional 5 percent increase in insurance (for a total of 10 percent), and further decreases in money for special education and English Language Development students - a potential loss of $200,000.
The district has responded by cutting library and music programs, and by moving the district office staff to the Bradshaw Mountain East campus. More bad news could be in the offing if the May 18 Prop. 100 sales tax increase fails - causing the district another loss of $1,038,000 - $2,183,000 for a total potential shortfall of $4,211,000.
While no one wants more taxes, Prop. 100 may be a necessary evil, as long as it is truly temporary. We may have to hold our noses and vote it in, but we'll have to stick to our guns later on and make sure it is truly temporary.