Last month, our NewsFlash 12-45 reported on the California Court of Appeal’s decision in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District issued on December 6, 2012. That decision struck down portions of a school parcel tax that imposed different tax rates upon residential and commercial/industrial properties. The decision would have significantly impacted the manner in which many school districts levy parcel taxes in the future and could also have impacted existing parcel tax measures with differentiated rates between residential and commercial property.
On Monday, January 7, 2013, the Court of Appeal granted Alameda Unified’s request for rehearing. The practical effect of granting the rehearing request is to vacate the court’s December decision in Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District, (12/6/12 A129295).
Recent legislative activity to address the potential impact of the original decision has occurred as well. Also on Monday, January 7, 2013, Assembly Bill 59 (“AB 59”) was introduced by Assembly member Rob Bonta of the 18th District. His district includes Alameda Unified School District.
AB 59 seeks to clarify existing law by allowing school districts to assess parcel taxes in accordance with rational classifications among taxpayers or types of properties within a district, as long as the taxes are applied uniformly within those classifications, and would be declaratory of existing law.
How or when the Court of Appeal will ultimately rule in the Borikas v. Alameda Unified School District case is unknown.
We encourage Districts that placed a parcel tax measure on the March 2013 ballot or that are contemplating measures for later in 2013, continue to closely monitor developments in the Borikas case, and consult with their counsel to ensure the measure is legally compliant.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please call one of our six offices.
F3 NewsFlash prepared by Roy Combs and John Norlin.
Roy is a partner in F3’s Oakland and Sacramento offices.
John is Special Counsel in the F3 San Diego office.
This F3 NewsFlash is a summary only and not legal advice. We recommend that you consult with legal counsel to determine how this legal development may apply to your specific facts and circumstances. Information on a free NewsFlash subscription can be found at www.fagenfriedman.com.
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