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Calabasas : District Considers Property Tax Effort

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The Las Virgenes Unified School District, facing a $400,000 budget gap, hasn’t ruled out placing another property tax measure on the ballot despite the failure of two previous efforts, district officials said Wednesday.

“We have parents who have been very active in getting this going over the past years and they want to do it again,” said Donald Zimring, the district’s assistant superintendent of business.

However, concerned about failing for a third time, officials want to make sure the time is right, he said.

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“I think before the board chooses another one they are going to pick that time very carefully,” Zimring said. “It’s very costly in terms of emotion, energy and volunteer hours.”

The district has obtained the services of San Francisco-based Breon, O’Donnell, Miller, Brown & Dannis, a law firm that once drafted two property tax measures for the agency. Under a one-year contract approved by the district’s Board of Education, the firm will work on an as-needed basis.

A property tax measure that would have levied $150 annually on parcels in the district lost by narrow margins in 1991 and 1993. It garnered more than 64% on the November, 1991, ballot, and roughly the same two years later. However, a two-thirds majority was required for approval.

To get a measure on the November ballot, the district would have to file a resolution with the County Board of Supervisors by at 5 p.m. Aug. 11, according to the Los Angeles County registrar/recorder’s office. To qualify for the spring, 1996, ballot, the district would have to file a resolution by Dec. 29 of this year.

The board recently hired a new superintendent, John Fitzpatrick, who spearheaded a ballot measure to raise $60 million for his former school district in the San Bernardino Mountains.

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