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Alameda Committee Against Measure A launches campaign website to fight unfair tax
Opponents of school parcel tax say that big national retail chains in Alameda get a big tax break, and don't pay their fair share to Alameda's schools, at the expense of homeowners and small business owners.
The Committee Against Measure A says that the structure of a newly proposed school parcel tax, known as "Measure A" and on the ballot on March 8th, 2011, means that big business in Alameda will get a tax break - a lower tax cap and a lower tax rate, as low as 1 cent/sq ft - while homeowners will have to make up the difference and pay 32 cents/sq ft.
Ed Hirshberg, spokesperson for Committee Against Measure A said, “Instead of removing the tax cap on big businesses operating in Alameda, AUSD actually lowered the cap by 16%, from $9,500 in the current tax to $7,999 in this new proposal. Because of the cap, properties like Alameda Towne Centre, which host several national retail chains and generates around $100 million per year in retail sales, will be taxed at the rate of roughly 1 penny per square foot, while the average homeowner and small business owner in Alameda will pay a much higher rate of 32 cents per square foot. 32 to 1 simply isn’t fair.” The group says they presented alternatives to the school district over the summer, that didn't include a cap on the tax to protect big business, but that the district ignored their suggestions.
The Alameda Unified School District hopes to raise roughly $84 million over seven years with the proposed tax, which it says will keep class sizes from growing and keep schools from consolidating.