Sunday, August 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis trustees modify school parcel tax

By
From page A1 | August 16, 2013 |

Acknowledging court decisions earlier this year striking down portions of a school parcel tax in Alameda County, the Davis Board of Education voted Thursday to take out portions of the district’s recently approved parcel tax, Measure E, that would have charged local single-family homes and multi-unit dwellings at different tax rates.

The board’s decision means that Measure E will now charge local property owners at a uniform rate of $204 per parcel per year.

The tax was approved by Davis voters — by a 69-31 percent majority — on Nov. 6, 2012. Measure E will be in effect for four years (July 2013-June 2017).

Designed to partially offset repeated reductions in state funding for education over the past five years, Measure E went before local voters as dual-rate measure, charging $204 annually for single-family homes, and $20 per unit annually for multi-unit dwellings. The rationale was that people living in apartments, duplexes and condominiums should bear a lighter tax burden.

But Measure E also included a severability clause stating, “should any part of the measure be found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid for any reason, all remaining parts of the measure or taxing formula hereof shall remain in full force and effect to the fullest extent allowed by law.”

A lawsuit challenging a dual-rate parcel tax already was underway in Alameda County. In March, in a case known as Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District, the California Court of Appeals invalidated a portion of a dual-rate school parcel tax there, ruling that California law requires that parcel taxes charge a uniform rate for all types of parcels.

The Alameda district appealed the Borikas decision to the California Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case in June, thereby making the Court of Appeals ruling final.

Earlier this year, local anti-parcel tax activist Jose Granda  and other tax opponents filed a lawsuit in Yolo County Superior Court, challenging Davis’ Measure E on much the same grounds cited in the Borikas lawsuit. The attorney representing Granda and other plaintiffs — David Brillant, of Walnut Creek — handled the Alameda case. The Davis lawsuit has not gone to trial.

In recognition of the fact that the Measure E suit has not been withdrawn, Davis school board trustees and senior district administrators spoke only briefly, from prepared statements, during Thursday’s meeting. In a news release, the district framed the board’s decision to sever the dual-rate aspects of Measure E and adopt a uniform $204 per parcel tax rate as an effort “to implement Measure E in accordance with the intent of the voters and consistent with current legal requirements.”

“As a result, the district has decided to implement Measure E in a way that is consistent with Borikas by levying one uniform rate for all parcels of taxable real property. … Exemptions for seniors and the disabled remain unaffected,” the news release said.

School board president Sheila Allen told The Enterprise, “The district is being proactive in implementing Measure E in accordance with the intent of the Davis school district voters and the recent legal requirements imposed by the Borikas decision.”

Added Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby, “The large majority of (local) parcels will not be impacted. … Some (multi-dwelling-unit parcels) will see an elimination of the tax. Others will see a varying degree of increase or decrease. In no cases will parcels incur more than $204 per parcel.”

Speaking at Thursday’s school board meeting, Granda had a different interpretation: “The fact that you are holding this (public) hearing is recognition that you have lost this case.” He suggested that instead of severing portions of Measure E, the school board should allow the lawsuit to go to trial, and let the legal process “take its course.”

Granda also asserted that the decision to exercise the severability clause might not pass legal muster.

“(This) is not what voters voted on,” Granda said. “You cannot change ballot language and you cannot change results. You should refrain from doing this. You invite (further) litigation.”

Local property owners will not see the first charge under Measure E until this fall, when the Yolo County treasurer-tax collector sends out the 2013-14 property tax bills.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Bauer garden marks one year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Grande site has been a convoluted saga

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

.

Forum

Already made herself at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

 
Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Keep our green waste piles

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
How to make a good living

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Health problems mean he’s checked out

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

 
This epidemic should scare us

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

.

Sports

Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

 
Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

 
California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

 
Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

.

Obituaries

Wanda P. Daley

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8