In Humboldt County, a total of $24,757,164 was taken out of school-allocated property taxes to pay State obligations in 2010-2011. $19,845,916 was redirected to satisfy the State's VLF backfill obligation. $4,911,248 was redirected to pay for the State's 2004 Economic Recovery Bonds. This increased to $25,024,157 in 2011-12.
Source: State Controller's Office, Local Government Reporting Section. (City and county detail shown in the reports, totals upon request from the SCO.)
Humboldt County schools did not receive $13,120,278 of their state funding until after the 2010-11 school year was over. The delayed payments grew to $18,332,568 for the 2011-12 school year, before declining (thanks to Prop 30) to $12,158,357 this past summer. When school closes this summer, Humboldt K-12 districts will be owed at least $8,678,820 (according to the First Principal Apportionment). Additional deferrals are in statute and will be announced with the Second Principal Apportionment, later in the school year. Redwoods and Shasta Community College Districts also expect $2.7 million or more in deferrals.
Of the money taken from all local school-allotted property tax, $2,331,017 was taken from the K-12 schools’ base property tax allocation in 2011-12, after all the county’s Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund had been emptied.
In general, Humboldt districts received about 8% of their annual funding after the children had left that summer – some districts did little a bit better (Arcata, McKinleyville, Southern, Trinidad), while less-advantaged districts did worse (Cutten, Rio Dell and Scotia Union saw 15% show up after the last child had left). For the larger districts, the magnitude of the shortfall was significant – Eureka City had almost $700,000 taken out of its base property tax – and had to wait until the following year for repayment of that plus the additional $2.1 million it was owed, Fortuna had $200,000 taken ($1.2 million in deferrals), and Northern Humboldt ($300,000 taken; $1.2 million in deferrals). Southern Humboldt, for example, had $165,000 taken, but only $460,000 of deferrals, which was better than average – but not small potatoes, either.
Almost no information is available on the Humboldt County website. A pie chart shows 63% of local property tax going to the schools, but it is probably quite inaccurate. Ed-data shows $39.544 million in property taxes flowing to K-12 schools and the Humboldt County Office of Education. The Chancellor of California Community Colleges shows Shasta receiving $11.952 million and Redwoods $8.384 million for a total of $20.3 million (after $2.4 million of their joint base property tax funding was taken, on top of all ERAF). So it would appear that $39.5+20.3 = $59.8 million of Humboldt local property taxes got to K-14 education. Humboldt’s total assessed property value net of exemptions was $11,295,225,973, for a general levy of about $113.0 million. This would map to 53% going to schools – nothing to be ashamed of. The VLF Swap/ERB Triple Flip redirect another 22% of Humboldt taxpayers' money to the State's obligations.
Sources: For deferrals, see the Funding Excel Files - Second Principal Apportionment from the California Dept. of Education; for “negative ERAF” -- monies taken from primary apportionments, see Ed-data.k12.ca.us from the CA Dept. of Education. For community college information, see California Community Colleges Final Property Tax and ERAF 2011-12 Recalculation Apportionment from the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges website.