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Appeals Court to Reconsider Parcel Tax Ruling

The Alameda Unified School District has successfully petitioned the California Court of Appeal to rehear the Measure H parcel tax case. (Action Alameda News)

The Alameda Unified School District has successfully petitioned the California Court of Appeal to rehear the Measure H parcel tax case. (Action Alameda News)

The Alameda Unified School District has successfully petitioned the California Court of Appeal to rehear the case of Borikas et al. v. Alameda Unified School District. The lawsuit maintained that Measure H, a school parcel tax passed in 2008, was illegal because it charged commercial and industrial property owners different rates than residential property owners.

In 2010, a trial court judge ruled in favor of the school district, affirming that the tax structure was legal, and the plaintiffs appealed. Last month, the California Court of Appeal handed down a unanimous decision that reversed part of the lower court decision, ruling that the tax was not uniform, and therefore, not legal, a setback for the school district.

The school district, facing the prospect of having to refund millions of dollars in tax revenue to commercial and industrial property owners, vowed to appeal.

In a 56 page submission to the court, lawyers for the school district argued that the appeal court decision “does not further the legislature’s intent of providing taxing authority to school districts,” and that the opinion undermines the legislature’s intent by interpreting the law to limit school district’s taxing authority.

Now, with the California Assembly dominated by Democratic legislators, some of whom are talking about about lowering the threshold for school parcel taxes to 55%, and others talking about Proposition 13 reform to increase the amount of property tax paid by corporate owners, the appeal court has vacated it’s December, 2012, decision, and will hear arguments again.

There has been no date set yet for the court to rehear the case.

The school district’s petition is included below.

Ausd Petition

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