Jan 25 2013

How Can I Figure My School Property Tax?

Some Property Owners Will Pay More, Some Less Under Measure A-

On March 5, Piedmont voters will consider a school parcel tax, Measure A.  Taxpayers are asking what impact Measure A’s $2,406 per year for 8 years will have on their tax bill.

You can determine your current school tax by referring to your Alameda County Secured Property Tax Statement.  This is the annual statement sent to all property owners from the Alameda County Tax Assessor.  It has a two part payment schedule and lists the various taxing agencies.

– On the left side  of the tax statement are:

  • Countywide Tax  – this county property tax begins at 1% of assessed value or purchase price (for the base year) by Proposition 13.  The assessed value generally increases 2% per year.
  • School Bond debt service assessment  – This amount pays off multiple voter approved school bonds used to retrofit and rebuild schools recently and in the past.  The funds go to the Piedmont Unified School District.
  •  Other assessments are also listed under debt service.

– On the right side of the statement are the “Special Assessments” (parcel taxes).  All of these taxes were approved by 2/3rd’s of those voting on the tax.

  • Sewer Tax – Piedmont voters turned down a proposal to double this tax amount in a recent election.  The current tax is higher than the recently approved Measure Y, Municipal Service Tax.  This money goes to the City of Piedmont.
  • School Measure BMeasure A on the March ballot, if passed, will replace this tax with the flat amount of $2406 for all Piedmont property owners.  If measure A should fail, the School Board has indicated its intention to increase the Measure B amount by 5% for the 2014 tax year. Add 5% to your statement to determine your 2014 tax.  This money goes to the Piedmont Unified School District.
  • Municipal Services Tax – A parcel tax for the City of Piedmont which was just renewed for 4 years by the voters. This money goes to the City of Piedmont.
  • Other taxes are also listed.

To determine how much of your property tax is going directly to the Piedmont schools add the debt service for school unified tax and the special school parcel tax (School Measure B or A).

Under the proposed new Measure A tax, every parcel in Piedmont, regardless of size and use, will be taxed at the rate of $2,406 per parcel for 8 years.   This includes commercial property and vacant parcels.   The School Board will be able to increase the base tax amount by 2% per year (compounded) during the 8 year term.

To determine if your property tax will go up or down with the passage of Measure A, look at your current Measure B tax, add 5%, and then compare the amount to $2,406.    Approximately, 78 % of  residential property owners will find their tax to be more under Measure A, while approximately 22 % will find their taxes reduced. 

Total number of residential parcels  = 3,764

 + Parcels under 5,000 square feet = 993

 + Parcels between 5,000 square feet and 9,999 square feet = 1,953 

  – Parcels 10,000 square feet or over = 818

Total residential parcels paying more under Measure A = 2,946

Total residential parcels paying less under Measure A = 818

The following information is on the Piedmont Civic Association website.

Editors’ correction noted in purple above made on 1/29/13.

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