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Alamedans for Fair Taxation to Develop New School Parcel Tax

Alamedans for Fair Taxation, a local advocacy group consisting of business and property owners, have announced that they plan to develop and publicize a new school parcel tax of their own based on principles the group supports.

In a statement, Ed Hirshberg, a member of the working committee developing a proposed structure and rate, said, “We’ve always said we want to support the schools, but we insist that the tax be fair and uniform across all taxpayers, and not subject the local business community to predatory taxation, as past tax measures have done. By structuring the tax ourselves, and taking it to the public ourselves, we think we can come up with something that a two-thirds majority of voters will approve.” Hirshberg was the Treasurer for Committee Against Measure E, a political action committee that opposed Measure E, which was defeated last month in a special vote-by-mail election. Since then, the Alameda Unified School District has said that they plan to bring forth another parcel tax measure, probably next spring.

Alamedans for Fair Taxation (AFT) has also sued AUSD over Measure H, the 2008 parcel tax that implemented a “split-roll” tax structure; the group says that split-roll structure is unfair and taxes property owners at different rates of taxation. Several weeks ago, the trial court issued a decision in favor of the school district, but the group has said they plan to appeal.

Finally, AFT said that they are interviewing potential candidates to support in this November’s Alameda Unified School District Board of Education Trustees election. Two seats on the school board are up for grabs this year.

6 comments to Alamedans for Fair Taxation to Develop New School Parcel Tax

  • karen zimmerman

    Fantastic! You can count on my support!

  • I’m glad to hear this is coming together, and I have offered up some ideas about details that would make such a tax more fair and one I MIGHT support, or at least not vigorously oppose. The timing is critical, as I would like to see more objective Alamedans pre-empt the usual suspects who have demonstrated they can’t seem to get it right.

    Fairness is key, (should seniors be exempt, for example), but I’d also like to see a more honest and open debate about further cuts in spending AUSD could make without undermining the quality of teaching and education delivered by the district.

    I challenge the assumption, or implication, that if the teachers took a temporary cut in pay they would deliver more mediocre performances in the classroom and in their prep time and “homework.” AUSD staff, especially Superintendent Vital, should also be able to take a cut rather than pushing for their scheduled increases. (Vital, for example, making nearly $200K/year and still eager to take a 3% raise???)

    There have been many letters, posts and other statements by Measure E opponents detailing what sort of parcel tax they might support, a much more modest, progressive, flat-rate tax, for example, with a much shorter duration than eight long years. I would expect that AFT would be much more likely to seek a consensus than AUSD has been.

    We can only hope that they are sufficiently humbled by their defeat that they are open to such a consensus, one that would help the schools without demanding the status quo and then some. And better management by staff, planning that takes into account both the fat times and the lean. Politics is all about compromise, and I am always open to that process.

    Yes we CAN!


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  • Anonymous

    If a fair Measure was written that was tied to CORE education were to pass, it would simply free up AUSD’s other funds to pay for the overhead, out of district students and too many schools for the resident student body.

  • Hot R

    “We’ve always said we want to support the schools”

    Great! Count me in! I look forward to a tax Mr. Hirshberg can come up with to replace all the revenue the State of California has taken away.

    What candidates do you have in mind for us to throw our support behind?

  • Hot R, it may be even more significant which candidates we fight to defeat for re-election. The fella with three relatives on the AUSD payroll might be first. As somebody once said, “Against the discredited candidate, even a trained monkey can win!” Let’s see who can come up with an open and honest debate about CORE ed, tenure and seniority, better use of that $3 BILLION online tutorial industry that you mock with such facile dismissal, mismanagement at AUSD headquarters, not only in the nepotism but in the budgeting. I think all the boosters of Measure E who are willing to discuss these subjects should run for board positions. How about YOU???