Berkeley public schools are fortunate to have the strong support of the Berkeley community in providing much-needed resources to augment the relatively low level of state funding.
Each resource is overseen by a citizen’s oversight committee in order to assure that funds are expended for the intended purposes.
Tax refunds are available for certain taxpayers; please see the information on qualification for refunds below.
Measure G of 2020 continues the Berkeley Public School Facilities program funded by bonds in 1992, 2000, and 2010. Measure G of 2020 will continue funding for safe and modernized school facilities for the next 10 years.
Special Tax Funding
Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP)
Measure E1 of 2016 provides funding for essential academic, enrichment and support services in our schools, continuing a program which began in 1986 in response to the state-level public education funding shortages.
Berkeley Educators Recruitment and Retention Act (BERRA)
Measure E of 2020 was written to ensure that Berkeley remains competitive in attracting and retaining the best educators – by providing funding to bring teacher salaries from the lowest among comparable districts toward the average. Funding also provides programs for recruitment, retention and professional development strategies to prevent essential staff shortages.
Safety and Maintenance
Measure H of 2020 continues the Maintenance program funded in 2000 and 2010 to protect the community investment in high quality school facilities by funding essential repairs and maintenance.
Refunds are available for school property taxes in the following situations:
For the tax year 2019-2020:
Very Low-Income Senior Citizen: Persons who will attain 65 years of age prior to July 1 of the tax year, occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence and meeting the very low-income qualifications of Berkeley Municipal Code Section 7.56.035, may request a refund of BSEP, BERRA, and Measure H taxes.
For tax years 2020-2021 and beyond:
In addition to the Very Low Income Senior Citizen qualification, the following taxpayers will also qualify for a refund of the BERRA and Maintenance Taxes, beginning with the 2020-21 tax year. (For BSEP, only the Very Low-Income Senior Citizen qualifies for a refund).
- SSI Recipient: Persons receiving Supplemental Security Income for a disability, regardless of age, and occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence, may request a refund of BERRA and Measure H taxes annually.
- SSDI Recipient: Persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, regardless of age, whose yearly income does not exceed 250 percent of the tax year’s federal poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and occupying said parcel as his or her principal residence, may request a refund of BERRA and Measure H taxes annually.
All refund requests must be made to the City of Berkeley Finance Office through the Very Low Income Refund Program.