From the Wires
Measure H Declared Invalid by California Court of Appeal
Court's Decision Could Lead Way to Millions in Refunds Due to Taxpayers
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 7, 2012 06:56 PM
WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a unanimous and lengthy decision from the First District Court of Appeal issued yesterday, it has been held Measure H is illegal under California law. In its decision, the Court of Appeal declared "Measure H's property classifications and differential tax burdens exceed the District's taxing authority." The appeal, brought by George Borikas and Ed Hirshberg, challenged the legality of Alameda Unified School District's Measure H parcel tax that taxed residential properties a flat rate of $120 per parcel yet taxed residential and commercial properties a tax rate of $0.15 a square foot up to a cap of $9,500. Alameda Unified School District argued they could enact a tax that created different rates among different types of property. As a result of the decision, the Court of Appeal permitted the tax of $120.00 per parcel but disallowed the increased rate for commercial and industrial properties.
David Brillant, of the Brillant Law Firm, counsel for Plaintiffs and Appellants Borikas and Hirshberg was extremely pleased with the results. "I am very pleased with today's results from the First District Court of Appeal. From the outset of this case, we have approached this problem with a common-sense approach and we always believed that a tax to be 'applied uniformly' as the law requires, had to be just that – uniformly applied to all taxpayers, regardless of the type of property they owned. Districts, including the Alameda Unified School District, which have enacted or proposed taxes that classify taxpayers into categories with different rates are now on notice that those structures are illegal under California law."
The Court of Appeal has directed the Superior Court to hold further hearings to determine what is to occur to all those taxes paid by commercial and industrial properties in excess of $120.00 per parcel. "I have yet to calculate the exact exposure for the District, but it is significant. Some taxpayers alone with multiple parcels could stand to receive tens of thousands of dollars in refunds for each of the three years the District collected a parcel tax." In light of this, it is anticipated this litigation will continue for a significant period of time.
About Brillant Law Firm
The Brillant Law Firm provides effective and efficient litigation and transactional legal services. The firm focuses on preserving wealth and creating value within the core practice areas of: trusts & estate litigation, wealth planning & administration, tax planning & controversy,business & commercial litigation, and real estate. The tax planning and controversy practice is a cornerstone of the firm's business. The firm advocates against the Internal Revenue Service, California Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Division or other taxing authorities while maintaining a professional working relationship with the agents in order to promote resolution of the matter. As counsel to a wide range of clients, including families with considerable assets, small to large companies, and regional corporations, the Brillant Law Firm provides solid and reliable advice throughout the course of all legal matters.
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