Judge finalizes latest H case ruling
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Mark Burr denied local yacht merchant and landowner John Beery’s request that he judge in Beery’s favor in the local yacht merchant’s case to invalidate the Measure H parcel tax.
Judge Burr had issued a temporary ruling denying Beery’s request to essentially decide the case in his favor, saying that Beery’s argument that the tax is not applied uniformly is “not persuasive” and that the tax is a special tax as defined by law. Beery’s lawyers had argued that the tax is a general tax, which the district has no legal right to impose.
Judge Burr had denied a similar request in a separate case to invalidate the tax. Business owners associated with that case are supporting a request to bring the case into mediation. The district has not commented on that request.
“On behalf of the School Board, I’m very pleased with Judge Burr’s ruling. For a second time, we have demonstrated that the district is on solid legal ground,” School Board President Mike McMahon said in a press release. “On behalf of the school district, we will continue to vigorously defend Measure H and the critical funds it provides our schools and our students.”
Beery’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.
Businesses sued over the tax last summer because many commercial property owners are being charged more than homeowners. Homeowners and owners of smaller commercial properties pay $120 per year, and larger commercial property owners can pay up to $9,500 per parcel – taxes that are often passed on to the businesses that rent the properties.
The district anticipates collecting $4 million a year for each of the four years the tax is in place.