Although it is still a few weeks away, discussion is already taking place about Measure V, a proposed 7-year annual tax in the amount of $168 that would be applied to every parcel within the Scotts Valley Unified School District. The measure would raise nearly $1 million per year of 100% locally-controlled funding so that the district can continue to pay competitive wages to its teachers, counselors and staff along with maintaining Science – Technology – Engineering – Arts and Math (STEAM), in addition to providing essential mental health support for its students.

But what many do not know is that Measure V would replace our current annual tax that expires in 2024. We have already been paying a yearly parcel tax for since 2018 in the amount of $108.This renewed parcel tax represented by Measure V comes with an increase to $168 per year for seven years. This translates to an extra $5 per month from what we already pay as property owners, probably less than a muffin at your local bagel shop.

If this read feels like a pro Measure V, I am not ashamed to admit that I support this measure for so many reasons. Reasons that you as a Scotts Valley local should take into consideration whether you have kids in the school system or not, whether you own property or not, whether you are a senior citizen or not.


In many ways, Measure V is also about protecting our way of life in Scotts Valley. Studies have shown that there is indeed a connection to great schools and low crime rate communities.

For example, according to data by the California Department of Education’s Data Quest, at the end of 2022 students at Scotts Valley High School (SVHS) graduated at a higher rate than the entire county by a sizable figure – coming in at 97.8%, versus the county rate of 86.9%. Keep in mind that the county rate also includes figures by SVHS, so if you take away our numbers, the average graduation percentage is even lower.

In the state of California, the percentage of students that graduate from high school is close to Santa Cruz County at 87%. That means that our students are graduating a total of over 10% higher than Santa Cruz County and the state of California as a whole. That is a tremendous figure, bordering on astonishing to think that almost 100% of our students go on to graduate from our high school.

Increased investment in public schools pays off through reductions in adult crime, according to a new University of Michigan study.

But the impact goes deeper when you consider that Scotts Valley also has the lowest crime rate in our entire county along with the best rated schools in our county.

Studies have shown that there is indeed a direct correlation between great education opportunities in a community and very low crime rates. According to a study by the University of Michigan, “Increased investment in public schools pays off through reductions in adult crime.”

But it’s not just the University of Michigan making that point, study after study and report after report have all come to the same conclusion. When our youth have better education opportunities, they have better life opportunities and don’t resort to crime as a way of life when compared to other areas that suffer from lack of a good school system. I know, I lived it growing up in a neighborhood and community where education was not at the forefront of importance. As a result, many kids suffered when following the footsteps of friends and siblings who resorted to a life of crime because the career opportunities were just not there and the foundation of a good education was not made important. It is a lot harder to make it out of tough neighborhoods when opportunities for achieving a good education are not present. Sure, there are a lot of great stories of kids making it out of tough neighborhoods to do something special in life because of a good education, but there are a lot more success stories that come out of neighborhoods where education and schools are put at the forefront and are supported by their communities.

Obviously, Scotts Valley is far from being a tough neighborhood but what I will say as a 27-year resident of our city is how proud I am to see an entire community rally for our kids and our schools to put education high on our list of collective priorities. And the results of the efforts throughout the years show up in the reality that we live in a safer community. Yes, our good schools have in fact contributed to a better community through the years.


As a 37-year real estate professional, I have seen this parallel first-hand. One of the main contributing factors to property values is of course location, location, location. We have all heard it before, time and time again.

But one of the key factors of a valuable location is how close it is to good schools, making sure that the home that buyers are looking for is located within a good school district and the actual schools. All you have to do is look at Cupertino and Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley to see how those two cities have had their property values skyrocket because their schools are some of the best in the state.

Well, I have news for you: Scotts Valley Unified School District schools are some of the highest ranked in the state, with all four public schools winning highly coveted and valuable state and federal awards.

So, whether you have kids in the schools, have had kids in the schools or not, you as a property owner have already been benefitting for decades when it comes to property values, because our schools have indeed increased the value of your property. It is not an opinion, it is a fact that a main contributing factor in the desirability of our community is our great schools, and home buyers are willing to pay more for a home here because of it. And they have already done so.

When you think about it, your property that will probably one day be a big part of your retirement plan is already worth more because of our schools. It has already happened, whether your kids took advantage of our schools or not. You have already benefitted mightily through the years by having a better quality of life and have a more comfortable and successful retirement plan.


Many seniors support good schools and a good school system. But many seniors have expressed that as much as they support the concept of Measure V, they cannot afford the extra $60 per year that the parcel tax would equate to.

Fortunately, seniors that are 65 and over and those who receive Social Security Disability can apply for an exemption of having to pay the parcel tax, but can still vote for Measure V. So, if you are a senior or receive Disability, you can still support Measure V and help maintain our quality of life in Scotts Valley without it compromising your budget. Many of our neighbors did so with our current parcel tax.


The almost $1 million that Measure V will raise every year is directly for our teachers, staff and counselors, and not for administrators. This is important because we need this money to be able to pay and support the hard-working teachers and staff of our district.. This money is for them. And, this money is for the students they invest their time in every day.


When you do the math, an increase of $5 a month will go a very long way towards supporting our schools and quality of education. And in fact, the total parcel tax of $168 is half of what many residents of other cities are paying to support their schools and teachers.


Look for the mail-in ballot that will come to all registered voters within the Scotts Valley Unified School District by mail sometime towards the end of September, and make sure you Vote Yes on Measure V by the due date of October 24. It’s about our students, our teachers, our community and our way of life and in the grand scope of things, it is a small price to pay. As stated numerous times, strong local schools have already paid our community in so many way – time to pay it forward.

More information on Measure V can be read by clicking here.

Robert Aldana is a 27 year resident of Scotts Valley with children having attended schools in the Scotts Valley Unified School District in the past and present. Robert is also the founder of My Scotts Valley and a local business owner.