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Parcel Tax Cap Would Create Different Rates for Large Property Owners, Homeowners

The Alameda Unified School District, based on a review of a proposed parcel tax structure last night, appears headed towards a new parcel tax to support Alameda’s schools that would have one rate for homeowners and small business owners, and a lower rate for large property owners.

The proposed basic structure of the new tax – 32 cents per square foot of building improvements on a parcel, with a cap of $7,999 per year – would give a break to property owners with more than roughly 25,000 square feet of building improvements. That means that retail shopping center Alameda Towne Centre, which recently completed an expansion to 706,000 square feet of retail space, would pay just over a penny per square foot, while homeowners and smaller property owners would pay 32 cents per square foot. Based on a recent City of Alameda quarterly sales tax report, Action Alameda News estimates that Alameda Towne Centre – which hosts a number of top retail sales tax producers in the City – generates over $100 million per year in sales.

Ed Hirshberg, an Alameda property owner that sued the school district over Measure H, told Action Alameda News, “If you buy a Ferrari you expect to pay more sales tax than if you buy a Chevy. If buy a large apartment building you expect to pay more transfer tax than if you buy a condo. After Warren Buffet has paid $10 million in income taxes we do not say ‘thanks Warren that is enough you are a great citizen,’ rather we say ‘pay your tax on every dime.’ Amazingly, the Board of Education has said that after you have paid $8,000, that is enough, and you can have a free ride on the rest of your real estate. This is, simply put, unAmerican.”

Action Alameda News has published an estimate of what each parcel would pay at the 32 cents per square foot rate here.

The proposed ballot measure from the District would bill “all other real property” without buildings, a minimum of $299 per year. The AUSD Board of Trustees is expected to have a final vote on a proposal to put the measure to a special March 8, 2011 ballot vote next Tuesday, November 30th.

3 comments to Parcel Tax Cap Would Create Different Rates for Large Property Owners, Homeowners

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  • Smart voter

    After watching last nights AUSD meeting, I have come to the conclusion, AUSD must not need the money, why would they let the large property owners pay a penny per sq, foot, while the rest of us are forced to pay .32 cents. It just does not make any sense to lower the cap from $9,500. To $ 7,999. What is the logic behind this? There should be no cap at all, period. In order to have a “ uniformly applied tax”, there can be no cap, only then will this new parcel tax be fair to all Alameda residents.

    The measure H lawsuit is all about uniformity and is still in litigation and even though AUSD wants us to believe that they won, it’s not over yet. If the Appellate Court rules in the plaintiff’s favor, the moneys collected for an illegal tax will have to be paid back and bankrupt the District.

    What backroom deal was offered to Svendsens Boatyard to come to the meeting and endorse a tax that will reduce his tax by $3,000. Does he not think this tax will be a heavy burden to many residents, that simply can not afford this large increase? Many of us are on a fixed income . People are struggling to pay their bills, just look at the demand for food at the Alameda food bank. My tax will increase from $309. to $1126. per year.
    I ask you Mr. Svendsen, how do you sleep at night, but then, you got your “ thirty pieces of silver “ !!!

    This reduction is only offered to the large land owners, who can very well afford to pay their fair share. South Shore Center has several multimillion dollar corporations doing business in Alameda, yet they will pay only one penny per sq. foot on their property.
    This tax will support our shopping centers and big business, not our schools.

  • joel

    Alameda school district need to cut the real fat , the special alowances ,the one the Teatchers nor the real school see.
    The City back up taxes on residences while putting aside fund for low income housing , with all due respect if you cannot afford a house can you afford the taxes , What they all want is to bring Alameda quality of life to the level of Oakland and have the homeowner pay for it,the taxes proposed if even would not even equal one day of advertizing for any of these billions dollars chain anchored at towne center.There is money in Alameda the school district cannot understand basic math ,no wonder the bay area lead the country in debt . How about payroll tax for peoples who do not leave in the City and claim they cannot afford it like the firefighters …..But they can afford to leave in Alamo , Danville these are inexpensive real estate place .

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