SANTA MONICA—The Measure R parcel tax is an extension of previously-existing property taxes that fund schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The measure was approved by voters on February 5, 2008. Senior citizens may register for exemption from these taxes, but they must do so on or before July 31.

Any seniors who have previously qualified for the exemption will receive renewal forms by mail. Anyone who newly qualifies may visit to download an application form, or they can get the application from school district offices. Seniors who turned 65 by June 30 of this year, and who own and live in their home can expect to save $346 each year by filing for the exemption.

The property tax directly funds education programs and faculty at local schools. According to the SM-MUSD, the Measure R tax money prevents layoffs that would otherwise be necessary. Quality schools and teachers, they say, help maintain high property values in the area and help keep the community safe.

Seniors are offered the exemption since many of them are retired and living on a fixed income. Those who have received the exemption previously must still re-apply for the exemption each year.