Feb 4 2013

Alameda Flat School Tax Replaced after Legal Challenge

The Alameda School Board replaced its flat school tax with a square foot tax, but its former tax is still in court –

In 2011, Alameda Unified School District replaced its challenged parcel tax (a flat tax for more than 90% of taxpayers and a square footage tax for a few large commercial property owners) with a square footage rate for all properties.  Alameda’s Measure A has been in effect since July 1, 2011, replacing Measure H, which has been under legal challenge since 2008.*

The current Alameda Measure A subjects all buildings (whether commercial, industrial or residential) on developed parcels to an annual tax of $0.32 per square foot up to a maximum of $7,999 per parcel.   (A 2,000 square foot house in Alameda is taxed at $640.  The same house in Piedmont will be taxed $2,406 under the proposed Measure A.)  

Exclusions are offered by the current Alameda school tax, both to single family residences owned and occupied by persons 65 or older (“senior exemption”) and by disabled recipients of SSI of any age (“disability exemption”) Parcels without buildings are taxed at a flat $299 per parcel rate.  In March 2011, the new Measure A  was approved  by 68% of Alameda voters to replace the challenged Measure H.  

* The former City of Alameda Measure H school tax was approved by voters in June 2008.  It charged a flat rate of $120 to all single family residential properties and the vast majority of commercial parcels, while charging a few owners of large commercial or industrial parcels at the rate of $0.15 per square foot up to a maximum of $9,500 per year.  The tax was promptly challenged in August 2008 by a large commercial property owner objecting to the assessment of tax per square foot on his commercial property while all residential and all smaller commercial properties were taxed at a flat rate of $120.  The trial court upheld Measure H.  The tax was recently struck down by the Appellate Court as failing to be a “uniform tax rate”.

One Response to “Alameda Flat School Tax Replaced after Legal Challenge”

  1. Piedmont only has an SSI exemption and not a senior exemption. SSI includes an “aged” category which requires seniors to qualify under SSI.

    The 1st District Appeals court has granted a rehearing in Boricas; the original finding has been vacated as a matter of law by the rehearing.

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