HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PLAINTIFF
As promised, the Folks Who Hate Measure H have filed their lawsuit, way out at the Gale/Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton. And now we’ve got the identity of the plaintiff, which has been a great source of speculation over the past week. Who here in town would risk drawing the scorn of the 66.9 percent of Alameda voters who supported the temporary parcel tax for schools? George J. Borikas, apparently.
Borikas, and his revocable trust, are listed as plaintiff in a suit to stop the tax from being implemented. The suit claims the tax is illegal because it is not being applied uniformly. If I’m reading this thing right, it also contends that the school district is applying more requirements than are legally allowed to get an exemption from the tax.
The temporary four-year tax is $120 for homeowners and commercial and industrial property owners whose parcels are less than 2,000 square feet; commercial and industrial property owners whose parcels are bigger than that pay 15 cents a square foot, with a cap of $9,500. Seniors age 65 and disabled people over can be exempted from paying the tax on their homes, if they applied for an exemption by a certain date.
Borikas’s listed home address, the fourplex that houses Ritz Real Estate Services (the Park Street Business Association has him as Ritz’s contact) and an apartment building he owns are listed as affected properties in the suit.
In addition to asking the court to zap the tax, Borikas is also asking that the school district pay his legal fees.
The tax was expected to generate $4 million a year, money the school district had planned to use to cover expected state funding cuts.
The lawsuit is Borikas vs. Alameda Unified School District, case number VG08405316, and can be accessed here.