A happy ending for the Elks
Looks like the Elks have received official word that they aren’t required to pay if Measure H passes on Tuesday. Several H backers and local blogs noted Tuesday that nonprofits that are exempt from paying property taxes would also be exempt from paying this tax; Lodge Secretary Jan Curtis said the group was contacted this past weekend by school board President Bill Schaff and Ron Mooney from the Alameda Education Foundation, who gave them the news. An Elks representative was among a group of businesses that met last week to get information and discuss concerns about the tax, which for commercial property owners is 15 cents per square foot, up to $9,500; his concerns were memorialized in a Journal story published Tuesday. Curtis says her group tried to call the school district for an answer on whether the Elks would have to pay the tax last week, after a member who is a merchant alerted leaders to the commercial portion of the measure. She says the district didn’t respond. (Schaff says Chief Financial Officer Luz Cazares, whose office the Elks called, was “literally working day and night” on budget documents.) “Almost all the individual Elks support the schools,” Curtis says, though she says the group was concerned the $5,000 to $6,000 per year they would have paid if they weren’t exempt was not in this year’s budget.