ALAMEDA -- The state court of appeal has agreed to reconsider last month's ruling that invalidated parts of Measure H, the parcel tax passed by voters in 2008 that benefited local schools.

School district officials announced the decision Monday, a move that follows the Board of Education voting during a special session to challenge the Dec. 6 ruling that struck down the measure's rate structure and found only the flat $120 rate that residential owners paid was valid.

Last month's ruling also called for possible "further remedies" in the case, which school officials said could include refunds of some money collected before Measure H was replaced by Measure A, the parcel tax passed last year.

It prompted them to petition for a rehearing, district officials said.

"We are thrilled that the court of appeal will reconsider its earlier ruling in this case and we believe our legal arguments are strong," Superintendent Kirsten Vital said in a release. "We are also mindful that the now vacated decision by the court of appeal had the potential to be a significant blow to our budget with many negative consequences for our students, teachers and staff."

George Borikas and other local commercial property owners maintain Measure H was unfair because it taxed them differently than residential owners.


Advertisement

Owners of commercial properties of less than 2,000 feet were taxed at $120 annually under the measure -- the same as residential property owners. But those owning parcels more than 2,000 square feet were taxed at 15 cents a square foot, capped at $9,500 annually.

Measure A, which replaced Measure H, calls for residential and commercial property owners to pay 32 cents per square foot of a building, with a maximum tax of $7,999 per parcel. Owners of properties with no buildings pay $299.

Among those who joined Borikas in the lawsuit against the school district over Measure H was Ed Hirshberg, who owns the building that houses the Alameda Journal, a Media News publication.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.