By Doug Oakley
Two Berkeley property tax measures that will raise hundreds of millions of dollars for school construction and maintenance won easily Tuesday evening. Residents also chose three school board members, two of them new to the scene.
Berkeley’s Measure I, which will raise $210 million in bonds over 47 years, won with 76 percent of the vote.
The bonds raised through property taxes actually will cost property owners approximately $611 million when principal and interest are added up.
The $210 million will pay for new classrooms, seismic upgrades, new science labs at Berkeley High School, playgrounds, restrooms, cafeterias, and heating and fire safety systems.
With the passage of Measure I, a homeowner with a typical two-bedroom house selling for $600,000 will pay $1,020 a year from 2013 to 2018 before that figure tapers down.
Berkeley’s Measure H, a parcel tax that raises $5 million a year for school maintenance, won with 80 percent of the vote.
Measure H will take 6.31 cents per square-foot on residential properties and 9.46 cents per square-foot on commercial properties.
With its passage, an owner of a typical two-bedroom Berkeley home of 1,000 square-feet will pay $63 a year to fund school maintenance.
School board President Karen Hemphill held on to her seat with 22 percent of the vote. Newcomer Leah Wilson, who manages juvenile court programs for the state, won a seat with 25 percent of the vote. Josh Daniels, a school finance attorney, also won a seat with 22 percent of the vote. The other candidates were Priscilla Myrick, Julie Holcomb and Norma Harrison.