I hate being a Cassandra, always reporting bad news. Well, I’m SUPPOSED to hate being a Cassandra. I’m a little weird about it, actually.
But no matter. Today I have a bit of GOOD news for California taxpayers. In a significant 3-0 ruling by a California appeals court, a wrongly structured Alameda school district parcel tax was struck down, and the money collected has to be refunded to taxpayers.
The state law concerning parcel taxes is clear. The parcel tax has to be a uniform dollar amount, regardless of the value of the property. I suppose the theory is that such a tax benefits each taxpayer equally, so the tax has to reflect that. Exceptions are made for seniors and the disabled, but NOT for commercial property.
The tax grabbers know full well that ‘soak-the-rich” measures resonate with voters. And, after all, there are more voters than business owners. So some agencies and jurisdictions have been trying to pass parcel taxes that allow commercial taxes to be taxed on some sliding scale — bigger payments for bigger parcels. Such was the case with this tax.
“No can do” says the court.… Read More