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School board to talk tax

Submitted by on 1, February 9, 2010 – 6:00 amNo Comment

The Board of Education is set to talk about different scenarios for a new, replacement parcel tax, one of many big items on an action-packed agenda tonight.

District staff will present scenarios for generating between $12 million and $16 million a year by implementing a flat tax for all parcels, a charge per square foot or charges that vary based on the type of property being assessed.

For example, in order to generate $14 million a year, the district would have to charge $809 per parcel with a flat tax, 16.1 cents per square foot if they charge based on lot size (with a $9,500 cap, the same as the current Measure H tax), and 28.6 cents per square foot if they charge based on building size. (So if you live in a 2,000-square-foot home with a 5,000-square-foot lot, you’d pay $572 or $805 under the respective per-square-foot scenarios.)

The board will also consider a split roll that, under this scenario, would have the district charge $669 per single family dwelling, $189 per unit for apartments and other multi-unit buildings and a per-lot charge of 13 cents per square foot with a $9,500 cap for nonresidential buildings.

The tax scenarios also lay out what share of the tax’s total cost residents and commercial property owners would bear. For example, under the flat tax scenarios, residents would pay 95 percent of the tax burden, while commercial property owners would pick up the remaining five percent. Under the per-lot charge scenario, residents would bear 80 percent of the tax burden while commercial property owners would pay 20 percent.

The district is working to replace its existing parcel taxes as part of a lawsuit settlement over the Measure H tax, and also to increase its parcel tax take at a time when the state is reducing funding. State funding makes up more than three-quarters of the money the school district gets.

The board will have until later this month to decide on whether it wants to put a new tax on the June ballot.

The current pair of taxes, Measures A an H, sunset in 2012. They bring the district about $7.3 million a year. Meanwhile, the district is anticipating deficits of up to $25 million in a few short years.

The presentation is on the district’s website (link’s up top).

Meanwhile, the board is also set to discuss its master plan (more on that here) and to conduct a public hearing regarding renewal of the Alameda Community Learning Center’s charter (like I said, action-packed night).

The public session starts at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers, City Hall.

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