The Piedmont school board has decided to levy parcel taxes under both Measure E and Measure B for 2011-12, and in the process increased the Measure B levy by the maximum 5 percent over the previous year.
At Wednesday evening’s board meeting, 10-year resident Mary Hancock asked the school board to look into establishing a senior citizen exemption from the parcel taxes. She said the Acalanes and Lafayette districts are doing that.
“I support the idea of bringing that up at a future point in time, to modify the school tax,” said board President Roy Tolles. “It might decrease the impact on the people who need it the most.”
The next scheduled date to renew parcel taxes again is 2013.
Board member Martha Jones said, “I agree it should be looked at for low-income seniors and for low-income anyone.” But a blanket exemption would include many high-income seniors, she said, and “this would shift the burden of the tax. I personally don’t support a senior exemption.”
She said the median income for Piedmont senior citizens in 2009 was $119,000.
Board member Rick Raushenbush agreed with Jones. He said communities that have granted senior exemptions have suffered “defunded education.”
“I’ve been concerned for a long, long time about the financial aspects of these measures,” said resident George Childs.
The increase was needed to shore up expected shortfalls in aid from Sacramento. “It’s the most volatile year in terms of state projections that we’ve ever faced,” said Superintendent Connie Hubbard.
The school board Wednesday approved the parcel tax levies for the 2011-12 year.
For Measure B, the approved tax for the next fiscal year means single family dwellings are taxed at $1,895 per parcel for less than 5,000 square feet, ranging on up to $3,218 per parcel for more than 20,000 square feet.
For Measure E, the range for single family dwellings goes from $219 per parcel for less than 5,000 square feet, ranging on up to $372 per parcel for more than 20,000 square feet.