The court of appeal in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 1 Dist., December 6, 2012; re-hearing granted January 7, 2013) held that the school district did not have the authority to impose a special tax (a parcel tax in this case) that classifies and differentially taxes property within the district.
This initial appellate decision held that a special tax is invalid where it imposes differential tax rates based on the taxpayer or parcel. In this case, the court initially found that the District had violated Government Code section 50079 where the District’s Measure H taxed residential taxpayers at $120 per parcel per year and commercial and industrial parcels on a per square foot basis (not to exceed $9,500 per year). According to the court, treating residential and commercial parcels differently when applying a qualified special tax violates the provision that taxes apply uniformly to all taxpayers or all real property within the school district, except where exempted.
However, the court of appeal has granted the District’s petition for rehearing. KMTG will follow this case and provide an update to our Legal Alerts as this case proceeds in the appellate process.
To read more, please see KMTG's full legal alert on Borikas here.