Sunday, January 25, 2015
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In recognition of the fact that the Measure E suit has not been withdrawn, Davis school board trustees and senior district administrators spoke only briefly, from prepared statements, during Thursday’s meeting.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

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

     
    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8