Many pro-tax increase campaigns supported by government authorities try to game the system to get the results they desire. Look at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s parcel tax. The tax exempts seniors from paying the tax in hoping to gain their votes without incurring any burden and states that an oversight committee will oversee the tax revenue to reassure voters.

The political logic behind the move is obvious. Some seniors may have grandchildren in schools, but many do not. Probably, given home prices in Los Angeles, many grandchildren live outside the district. So, give seniors a reason to vote for the tax: they won’t have to pay it!

Seniors better understand that the exemption is not automatic. It has to be applied for with very little time and great effort to do so.

The school district sent out letters under the signature of Superintendent Austin Beutner informing seniors of the exemption and including the application to be sent back to the school district to qualify.

The letter states that whether the letter recipient applies for the senior exemption or “how you plan to vote” the recipient is urged to vote on June 4. That neutral phrasing  allows for the letter to fall into the category of an information campaign and supposedly not part of the campaign to pass Measure EE. That’s despite the fact that the letter delineated in an earlier paragraph that Measure EE would improve schools by reducing class sizes, attracting high-quality teachers and providing quality instructional programs.

The tax proponents are probably counting on many seniors missing the deadline of applying for the exemption. The application is due by July 1, less than four weeks after the election.

The election results probably won’t be finalized until a few days later and there is the complication of the lawsuit filed against the measure to nullify the election that a court won’t look at until June 6.

Waiting for the results would cut down on the time to respond. Anyone who wants the exemption must supply copies of a number of documents to prove residence, including but not limited too, the property tax bill.

Then there is this little unsettling note: “Additional information, including an in-person submission may be required.”

Is that meant to itimidate seniors and put them off from filing?

This positive but so-called impartial information is paid for by the taxpayers.

As to the oversight committee, I’ve had experience dealing with LAUSD through an oversight committee 25 years ago. Let’s just say we had to go to court and a judge demanded that the district permit the committee to do its oversight. It wasn’t easy.

Those in power who want new revenue are in a strong position when they put together the rules of the game to favor certain outcomes. That is on display with the way the LAUSD is trying to muscle its way to a tax increase.