Dec 10 2012

URGENT: School Board to Consider Uniform $2,406 Per Parcel Tax

Court Decision Spurs Change in School Tax Measure –

The Piedmont Unified School District Board is holding a Special Meeting on Tuesday, December 11,  to consider amending both its current and proposed School Parcel Tax measures to the uniform rate of $2,406 for all parcels in the city of Piedmont to comply with a recent court decision.

The Open Session portion of the agenda at 7:00 p.m. will consider the agenda item:

A. Approve Resolution 10-2012-13 “Modification and Amendment to Qualified Special Tax and Establishing Specifications of the Election”

A decision by the Court of Appeals governing Alameda County in the case Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District, was issued on Friday (12/7/2012) afternoon. The Court’s decision requires the Board to consider a change to the Piedmont Unified School District’s (PUSD) proposed school support tax measure, scheduled to appear on the March 5, 2013 special election ballot.

The proposed modification of the tax structure to a flat rate of $2,406 per parcel is a change from the current tiered method based on lot sizes and taxes all parcels at the same rate of  $2,406.  The result reduces the tax for larger parcels and increases the tax for smaller parcels.

The measure would also replace Measure B with the flat $2,406 per parcel rate starting in 2013, increasing taxation for smaller parcels by approximately $400 a year and reducing the tax on largest parcels by approximately $1,000.

The Special Board meeting will be held in the Council Chambers, City Hall at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting is open to the public. A closed session will precede the open meeting to confer with legal counsel Mark Williams, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP on anticipated litigation  (Based on significant exposure to litigation pursuant to subdivision (b) on Government Code Section 54956.9: 1 case).

See the Board Agenda | Packet.  

The California First Appellate District Court decision in Borikas vs Alameda Unified School District stated:

“…Measure H’s [ Alameda Unified School District ballot measure] property classifications and differential tax burdens exceed the District’s taxing authority under section 50079…Measure H’s exemptions for senior and disabled taxpayers are permissible under the statute.”

“School districts did not …seek language that would allow for the classification and differential tax treatment of parcels by size or use.”  (Footnote 24 in the opinion.)

“The trial court is directed to enter judgment declaring the special tax imposed by Measure H invalid to the extent it imposes a tax other than $120 per parcel, unless the parcel is exempt from the special tax under the provisions of the measure, in which case, no tax may be imposed.”

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