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Parcel Tax Cap Makes Tax Regressive

Action Alameda News received a copy of this letter directed to the Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees…

Dear Honorable Board Trustees,

While the vast majority of Alamedans would agree to the need for a parcel tax to offset state budget cuts, the current proposal repeats the mistake of Measures H and E by imposing a non-single roll cap. This makes the tax regressive, moving the burden from large businesses (some effectively $.02/sf or less) to small businesses and homeowners. By my estimates about $1.5 million in revenue is lost by the cap, and the same revenue could be raised by a $0.29 /sf rate, roughly a 10% savings to all except for the roughly 100 beneficiaries of the cap.

This repeat will likely garner the same resistance, and unnecessarily puts the District’s financial stability and our children’s education at risk.

Albany and Berkeley do not cap their taxes. It is time for the few large businesses that own and profit from substantial island resources to stop getting an essentially free ride at the expense of everyone else. Alamedans have demonstrated they can see through corporate campaigns, but an unfair tax has already failed, and momentum is against it.

I beg you, don’t tear this island apart again. Drop the cap.


Rand Wrobel

4 comments to Parcel Tax Cap Makes Tax Regressive

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  • Barb

    Is there a contingency that the parcel tax be dropped in the Ballot measure when the District wins its suit against the State for equal funding? That should not take 7 years.

  • hobnob

    Barb, of course not. Have you ever heard of any city or entity that would give up the free money it gets from taxpayers if they find other avenues of funding? They’ll probably create a “surplus” and then spend it on stuff like salary increases or something.

    Why have an exemption for seniors at all? It should be an exemption for seniors and disabled people who can showcase financial hardship that this parcel tax will do unto them. This exemption just seems a way for them to try and get this parcel tax passed since I assume seniors make a good minority of Alameda (this is a sleepy retirement town).

    32 cents seems steep to me and I don’t agree with the fact that the cap is at 7999. Why couldn’t they also include a few more rules to the parcel tax to help the small business owners… such as, if the business employs less than 50 people, 7999 cap is imposed (or whatever the number of employees equates to for a small business)… that way, Alameda Towne Center big business would get taxed a better amount… or you could have easily doubled that tax cap to large businesses.

  • So far, the debate around “Measure F” is all about rates, not the real substance of why and whether this new parcel tax is necessary at all. I’ve done the research, and feel that the cuts proposed in “Plan B” are actually long overdue.

    Since Base Closure, more than 900 students have been taken out of the AUSD system, yet very few layover or school closures have occurred. So Plan B, designed as a Doomsday Scenario, might be the appropriate and required economies.

    Why keep under-enrolled schools open? The magic word is “neighborhood.” Why not consolidate some schools where the enrollment hs dropped dramatically, such as middle and high schools? Nostalgia? We can’t afford it.

    The schools must live within their means, and that doesn’t mean preserving the status quo. Until the debate gets serious, I shall seriously oppose any new parcel tax,but especially one as regressive, (with the cap and senior exemption), and unfair as this latest proposal!


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