Jim Porter: Measure A makes sense | SierraSun.com

Jim Porter: Measure A makes sense

Jim Porter
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Many years ago I had an opportunity to hear President John F. Kennedy deliver an education speech at the Coliseum at U.C. Berkley. As a young high school student I was quite impressed.

My grandfather, who was a newspaper editor, took me and later wrote about the speech. The Kennedy quote I remember best is: and#8220;Knowledge is the passkey to the future.and#8221;

Providing a solid education for our youth is the foundation to knowledge and success. You can quote me on that. (And you didnand#8217;t even have to drive to Berkeley.)

Our Truckee North Tahoe community has another opportunity to continue a 20-year education tradition on March 8. We can approve Measure A and#8212; a minimal-cost parcel tax that funds our schools from kindergarten through high school and#8212; continuation of a tax that has been renewed five times since 1989.

The cost is $135 per parcel per year over a 7-year term and#8212; $11.25 a month. I spend more than that every month on my gym membership, cappuccinos, magazines, parking fees and dog food and maybe even turtle food.

Studies have shown that property values are often tied to the quality of the local school system. $11.25 a month may keep your property values higher by a lot more than that.

Measure A payments are tax-deductible and exemptions are available for folks 65 years old and for qualified disabled residents. This is a highly guarded secret, but as of Cinco de Mayo, your trusted correspondent hits that number (I canand#8217;t verbalize it), which Iand#8217;m not exactly excited about. I would rather be younger and not get the exemption. But if you can get the exemption, it makes sense to vote Yes.

I begrudge my federal tax dollars going to Washington, D.C., for congressional boondoggles and pork-barrel projects, $200 gold-platted hammers and expensive military hardware, but you get some bang-for-your-buck from a local measure like this. Itand#8217;s a smart investment that helps ensure the future vibrancy and sustainability of our communities.

For many of us, these are difficult economic times, so your support of Measure A is especially appreciated. We need two-thirds approval, so every vote counts.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s appointee to the Fair Political Practices Commission and McPherson Commission, both involving election law and the Political Reform Act. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or at the firmand#8217;s website http://www.portersimon.com.