parcel taxes

Alameda’s Board of Education is setting aside $5.8 million to cover refunds the district may have to pay on its Measure H parcel tax.

The board voted 5-0 on Tuesday to repurpose an existing reserve fund it created in 2008 as state funding lurched over a cliff to cover the potential refunds. If needed, the money could cover close to 80 percent of what the district could have to pay out.

“Right now it seems to me – 80 percent seems like a prudent number. And right now we have it to set aside, so it’s not as painful,” Trustee Mike McMahon said.

Updated at 10:03 a.m. Thursday, March 7

A state appeals court has affirmed an earlier decision striking much of a 2008 school parcel tax, saying the school district had no right to impose different tax rates on residential and commercial property owners. The court plans to send the Measure H lawsuit back to a local trial court to determine whether much of the money collected over the three years the tax was in effect must be repaid, though it could also be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

A court ruling that struck down portions of a 2008 Alameda school parcel tax has prompted new lawsuits against four school districts that won voter approval of school parcel taxes in November.

Earlier this month, lawsuits were filed against the San Leandro, West Contra Costa and Davis school districts and a group of suburban Los Angeles districts alleging the districts violated state law by imposing taxes that charge different types of property owners different rates. They’re asking the courts to invalidate the taxes.