CVUSD takes big bite out of property taxes

Homeowners see bill to schools nearly double

POSTED: 08:16 AM PST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 11:03 AM PDT Oct 15, 2013 
La Quinta, Calif. -

Property tax bills began going out last week, and homeowners here in the valley are likely to see bigger bills, because the assessed values of many homes have gone up.

But, if you live in the Coachella Valley Unified School District, you may want to take an even closer look at how much of your property taxes will be going to the schools.

Measure X to bring iPads to all CVUSD students may be more costly than voters bargained for.

At least one couple who lives in the district wants to know if CVUSD is taking more from their taxes than they declared at the ballot box.

Don and Jane Jeffers voted against Measure X, but they accepted that the Mobile Learning Initiative passed and prepared for an increase in their property taxes.

What they weren't expecting, was that the amount owed to Coachella Valley Unified Schools would nearly double, from $347 on last years property tax bill, to $688 this year. 

"Well, I just figured someone made a mistake," Jane Jeffers said.  "It couldn't possibly be that much."

In November of 2012, voters approved a $41 million dollar bond measure to deliver an iPad to all 20,000 CVUSD students, and upgrade the wireless infrastructure at the schools.

In the tax rate statement on the ballot seen here, CVUSD Superintendent Darryl S. Adams estimates the tax rate needed to fund the bond issue at $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

"If that's correct on the $30 per $100,000 of valuation," Don Jeffers said.  "This is way ... The increase is substantially higher than what that $30 per $100,000 should be."

By the district's projections, the Jeffers should have seen about a $135 increase to fund Measure X. Their bill to CVUSD went up by $341 for a total payment of $688 to the schools.

"What does the $688 relate to?" Don Jeffers asked. "Is the increase just for measure X?"

The Jeffers say they called the school district on October 10th to find out what their money was going toward, and why the bill was so high. They had not heard back as of October 14th.

Superintendent Adams told us on October 14th that he would check with the county, and get back to us when the county office opens on Tuesday, following the Columbus Day holiday.

"I'm just hoping that we do get some calls from the school district, and get some answers to the questions I had when I called them," Don Jeffers said.

His wife Jane added, "They need to be held accountable, I think."

The Jeffers say some of their neighbors have seen similar increases to their property taxes.

We have confirmed another home owner's payment to CVUSD has also nearly doubled.