A lawyer with a track record of successfully using the courts to block school parcel taxes has taken aim at Measure G, the parcel tax extension voters approved for the West Contra Costa Unified School District in November.
Contending that Measure G illegally taxes property owners at different rates, David Brillant is using some of the same legal arguments that persuaded the First District Court of Appeals to rule in December that Alameda Unified wrongly collected nearly $18 million under a parcel tax passed by voters in 2008, according to the Contra Costa Times.
Charles Ramsey, a member of WCCUSD's governing board, said he thinks the lawsuit is flawed. He said that not only does Measure G not go into effect until 2014-15, but that the parcel tax does not contain different rates for different types of property owners.
Measure G taxes property owners at 7.2 cents per square foot and owners of empty parcels at $7.20. Over the next five years, Measure G is expected to bring the district $50 million.
Ramsey said that charging owners of unimproved parcels 7.2 cents per square foot would not significantly reduce the revenue from the tax.
At the same time that he filed the suit against WCCUSD in January, Brillant sued San Leandro Unified, Davis Joint Unified and five school districts in Los Angeles County.
At the end of December, lawyers for Alameda Unified asked the the First Court of Appeals to reconsider its original decision, which the court agreed to do. However, the court is not allowing additional briefings and oral arguments in the rehearing.