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Island Talkback: Parcel tax guide

Submitted by on 1, February 8, 2011 – 12:02 am7 Comments

By Ed Hirshberg

Here is a simple guide to help you figure your tax under the proposed Measure A school tax. The tax is based on the size of your building.

1,000 square feet: $320

2,000 square feet: $640

3,000 square feet: $960

4,000 square feet: $1,280

5, 000 square feet: $1,600

10,000 square feet: $3,200

20,000 square feet: $6,400

25,000 square feet: $7,999

50,000 square feet: $7,999

100,000 square feet: $7,999

200,000 square feet: $7,999

500,000 square feet: $7,999

700,000 square feet: $7,999 (Largest property)

Parking lot of any size attached to building: No tax.

Marina of any size attached to building: No tax.

Athletic facilities of any size attached to building: No tax.

Businesses at Alameda Point or Alameda Theatre complex (possessory interests): No tax.

Vacant land of any size: $299

Think and vote responsibly.

Got something to say? Send your Island Talkback submissions to michele@theislandofalameda.com.


  • Phil Stewart says:

    Here is an unbiased study from Pepperdine University of how your tax dollars are being spent on Alameda Schools.


  • Susan Davis says:

    Hi Phil,

    That “unbiased” study has attracted a lot of criticism since it was released, including by the California Budget Project, because of the way the data was collected and crunched.

    For instance, the Pepperdine team’s calculation of “direct classroom expenditures” left out the costs of principals, classroom aides, librarians, counselors and other classified staff, as well as sharp increases in health care costs for districts between 2003 and 2009.

    As CPB explains: “This study is based on a number of questionable assumptions, uses inappropriate measures of the cost of educating
    students, and uses a definition of spending ‘in the classroom’ that excludes expenditures that research shows are critical to students’ success.”


  • Huda L says:

    Why not just link to this document that has the EXACT amount for every parcel in Alameda should Measure A pass?


  • Jon Spangler says:

    The “facts” are not always as accurate as some folks claim. (See Susan Davis’ critique of the Pepperdine study posted above.)

    I also saw no accounting in the Pepperdine study’s text or charts regarding the speech, reading, special education, and other specialists who are required by state and federal mandates but not necessarily funded by either external source.

    I am deeply disturbed that neither Ed Hirchberg nor The Island made it clear that Ed Hirschberg is a spokesman for the Committee Against Measure A (CAMA) and is thereby a biased information source – by definition. While his numbers may be accurate in this case, it is unethical for him to not be forthcoming about his opposition to the parcel tax. It is also incumbent on The Island to make his central role in CAMA explicit for every reader.

    In fact, CAMA’s motives in opposing to the parcel tax may be suspect, IMHO: CAMA (including David Howard and Ed Hirschberg) refused the AUSD’s and the community’s several invitations to participate in the process of crafting Measure A last year.

    Had they participated in good faith and subsequently disagreed with the measure’s formula I could respect their opposition as being based on good faith and on actual principles, as I have often heard Ed Hirschberg espouse. But since they refused to participate in – and effectively boycotted – the measure’s development process I can only conclude that CAMA’s opposition is based on anti-AUSD and anti-school motives rather than on principle.

    Is CAMA’s real goal to do harm to our community’s political discourse, Alameda’s public schools, AUSD, and the children of Alameda?

    It would seem to be so, since CAMA has spread misinformation about the AUSD and deliberately sabotaged the subsequently-cancelled League of Women Voters of Alameda forum that was to have occurred last week. It is sad to see such “opposition at any cost” politicking in Alameda.

  • Phil Stewart says:


    Who did the research you are referring to. If you compare America’s educations system now to what it was like in 1975 before President Carter received the teachers union votes in exchange for creating the Department of Education you will see it was not President Carter’s shinging moment.

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