Jan 24 2013

Piedmont Seniors Not Exempt From $2,406 School Tax

Piedmont resident Rick Schiller compares high-scoring California school districts API scores, school parcel tax and exemptions for property owners 65 or older.

Top Ten California School Districts by Academic Performance Index (API). All have Age 65 only to qualify 100% Senior Exemption except Piedmont.



San Marino

API 2012


School Parcel Tax


Age 65 Sr Exemption


La Canada 950 $150 Yes
Piedmont 938 $2,406 NO
Manhattan Beach 937 none n/a
Palo Alto 934 $685 Yes
Arcadia 929 $228 Yes
Oak Park Unified 928 $197 Yes
San Ramon Valle y 927 $144 Yes
Irvine 924 none n/a
Palos Verdes 923 $374 Yes


35 Regional School Districts have age 65 Senior Exemption


Acalanes Union HS District Alameda USD Albany USD
Belmont-Redwood Shores SD Brisbane SD Fremont Union HSD
Burlingame Elem. SD Hayward USD Hillsborough SD
Larkspur-Corte Madera SD Lafayette SD Martinez USD
La Honda-Pescadero Unified Lafayette SD Menlo Park SD
Los Lomitas SD Los Gatos USD Mt. Diablo USD
Novato USD Palo Alto USD Pittsburg USD
Portola Valley SD Redwood City SD Ross Valley SD
Reed Union SD-Tiburon Belvedere San Mateo-Foster City SD San Carlos SD
San Ramon Valley Schools Tamalpais Union HSD San Rafael City
Santa Clara USD Walnut Creek SD Woodside SD
San Lorenzo Valley USD W. Contra Costa County USD


Local Schools with age 65 Senior Exemption and “very low income” Verification

 Berkeley USD –below $37,400 per household to qualify

Moraga School District – below $32,250 to $49,850 depending on household size to qualify

Oakland USD – below $31,250 – $58,950 depending on household size to qualify

Orinda Union SD – below $46,150 to $60,950 depending on household size to qualify

 The Federal poverty definition for a single person is below $11,170

 Piedmont’s “low-income” Senior Exemption defined as SSI “qualified”

Disqualified above SSI $730 monthly / $8,760 annual unearned income limit Disqualified from SSI if resources exceed $2,000

Editors’ Note:  The chart is the research product of the author and not the work of the Piedmont Civic Association.

5 Responses to “Piedmont Seniors Not Exempt From $2,406 School Tax”

  1. Excellent analysis! Thanks, Rick, for compiling this and thanks to the PCA for publishing it.

    The truth SHALL make us free!

  2. I agree that an exemption could be desirable for very low income seniors, but otherwise I don’t see any particular rationale for a senior exemption (and I’m over 65). Many seniors who still live in Piedmont are no less able than younger residents to afford the extra taxes that help to support our outstanding schools and help to keep our home values high. Many of us (including my husband and I) have pre-Proposition 13 taxes, so our tax rate is already a lot lower than most younger families.

  3. A meaningful low-income VOLUNTARY senior exemption is not for those seniors that can easily afford the high tax. The exemption is for those seniors who are severely impacted by it.

    Seniors throughout California are covered by Prop 13 but more than 35 school districts in our region alone have seen fit to allow VOLUNTARY senior exemptions when requested. Why is Piedmont so different, particularly in light of what appears to be the highest school parcel tax in this region, or possibly in the entire state?

  4. I interpreted “Age 65 only 100% exemption” as indicating that ALL residents over 65 would qualify for an exemption in those districts that offer it. My point is that there are plenty of seniors in Piedmont who are no worse off (and quite possibly a lot better off) than younger families who are struggling to raise their kids and already paying higher taxes than many seniors.

  5. A VOLUNTARY over 65 senior exemption should be made available. I have lived here since 1978 and paid more than a few dollars in school parcel taxes. I don’t feel any guilt about pushing for the ability for those who wish to take advantage of a VOLUNTARY senior exemption to do so.

    Piedmont should treat its seniors in the same manner that the 35 districts enumerated above do.

    Unfortunately Piedmont has chosen to offer an exemption that, in all likelihood, will not be available to hardly any seniors who are fortunate enough to live in this fair city.

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