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Ed Hirshberg and Alamedan’s for Fair Taxation to Fight AUSD Parcel Tax

Last week, Alamedans for Fair Taxation announced that it would campaign against the parcel tax recently approved for the March 8th, 2011 ballot by the Alameda Unified School District Board of Trustees. The group, through Committee Against Measure E, defeated the district’s last attempt at a parcel tax in June of this year.

Since the defeat of Measure E, the group assembled its own detailed database of some 20,000 parcels in Alameda, and drew on that to develop alternative parcel tax structures which it proposed to the school district, alternatives that they say the district ignored. Action Alameda News published the group’s alternative proposals alongside the school district’s proposals here.

In a statement, Ed Hirshberg, spokesperson for Alamedans for Fair Taxation (AFT) said, “Instead of removing the tax cap on big businesses operating in Alameda, AUSD actually lowered the cap by 16%, from $9,500 in the current tax to $7,999 in this new proposal. Because of the cap, properties like Alameda Towne Centre, which host several national retail chains and generates around $100 million per year in retail sales, will be taxed at the rate of roughly 1 penny per square foot, while the average homeowner and small business owner in Alameda will pay a much higher rate of 32 cents per square foot. 32 to 1 simply isn’t fair.” AFT has set up a campaign website on Facebook.

Depending on how one interprets the vote count for Measure E, which is complicated by the 2/3rds supermajority requirement, that measure was defeated by either 250 or 687 votes.

11 comments to Ed Hirshberg and Alamedan’s for Fair Taxation to Fight AUSD Parcel Tax

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  • karen zimmerman

    You’re going to have to go beyond Facebook – there are only 7 people who “like” the page. Any other outlets?

  • karen zimmerman

    How to reach a wider audience? Maybe some sort of show on comcast public access?

  • I agree with your letter to Alameda Journal (Dec 10) about teachers unwilling to take a 10% pay cut for working less than half a year (175 per 365 days) for $80,000 and up. I would add that the public schools should learn from the private schools and pay teachers what the private schools in Alameda get. Same with class size which has nothing to do with learning. We should start to consider making Alameda a charter school to break the back of the teachers union and return the education to the students and their families.

  • Hot r

    There is no teacher in Alameda who makes $80,000. You can make $74,000 after 25 years. They already have had no raise for two years, took a pay cut by having their pay cut by 8 furlough days, their medical costs went up this year, 70 teachers were laid off, and class sizes are larger with less money for school supplies. Maybe AUSD could save money by cutting the school year further, cutting adult school and preschool, not buying textbooks, cutting sports, and all after school programs. Of course that means parents will have higher costs for child care, after school tutpring, crime rates will go up without after school programs and test scores will plummet. Is that a good tradeoff? Most sentient beings wouldn’t think so.

  • Hot R – According to AUSD, the average salary and benefit cost for a teacher for AUSD is $87,890/year:

    According to Ed Data, the highest offered teacher salary in AUSD is $79K/year

    Teacher Salary Schedule – Annual Salary1
    Alameda City Unified, 2008-09
    District Statewide Average for
    Unified School Districts
    Lowest Offered $41,893 $40,322
    BA + 60 (Step 10) Offered2 $60,285 $62,602
    Highest Offered $79,883 $80,902
    Average Paid3 $64,092 $66,642
    1 These amounts do not include salaries for extended year, bonuses for special accomplishments, or payment for extra-curricular services such as coaching, drama or music.
    2 Bachelor of Arts degree plus 60 continuing education units
    3 Two districts with identical salary schedules could have different average salaries, depending on their teachers’ years of experience and education.
    Pop-trends [Click to see Teacher Salary Schedule – Annual Salary pop-trends]
    Source: School Fiscal Services Division, J-90 (fixdinfo 1/7/10, salxstep

    And teachers only work 175/185 days of the year, leaving the rest of the days free for them to have vacation, spend time with family, or do some other kind of work to earn money.

    Anyone who lives near or on the same block as an AUSD elementary teacher knows the hours they work – leave just before 8am, home by 3:45pm. At an average base salary of $64K per year, that translates to about $50 to $60/hour.

    How many readers/voters earn $50 to $60/hour? For any other person working a full year, that translates to over $100K/year.

    As for cutting adult education, that’s a perfectly valid suggestion – there are lots of other places in the East Bay that adults can go for continuing Ed – College of Alameda, Cal State East Bay, UC Berkeley, etc. etc.

  • Hot R

    Salary and “benefit” cost is not salary.

    But the average salary was $66,000 plus. That is much different than Franklin’s claim of $80,000 per year. How many teachers make that 1 or 2 out of 660?

    And if the writer really doesn’t think class size has anything to do with achievement, why do wealthy people send their students to private schools with 15 or fewer students in the classroom? Check out Head Royce, Bentley, or the French-American Academy for confirmation.

  • Hot R – you’re in the admin office at the District. Why don’t you tell us how many AUSD teachers make the average salary?

    Catholic schools do very well with large class sizes.

    And are you saying the difference between 25 students to 32 is the same as the difference between 25 and less than 15? Would you argue that our public schools should have a 15:1 class size in elementary grades?

  • nomoretaxes

    “The average teacher salary is $66,000 plus” okay, so annualize that & what do you get? a very high salary in a recession where some people have NO salary. Everybody should look at what the District Adminstrators & their executive assistants are getting paid & you will be shocked. Sorry, the voters of Alameda said no to a parcel tax already. The economy is WORSE; the unemployment rate in CA is higher & the national economists are not predicting recovery anytime soon. Consolidate & close schools, eliminate programs, reduce salaries, freeze hiring, eliminate most non-classroom positions, get parent & community donations & leave struggling homeowners & businesses alone.

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