Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oakland No Longer Collecting Measure Y Funds?

The property tax bills for Oakland homeowners are in, and as usual the situation is pretty ugly.

But, looking at my bill for the year, I was shocked to see that the county appears not to be collecting funds for Measure Y. I'm not sure if this is a consequence of Marleen Sacks' brave efforts (please click that link to see her excellent blog on the matter).

Or, perhaps it's that the city has finally admitted on its own that collections of the tax are illegal when we have such a reduced police force. Whatever the reason, I'm grateful for the change.

And I'm also happy that I no longer have to send a petition to the city every year for a refund of the tax for the vacant lot I own. Long-time readers will know that the city has refused to record in their records that the lot is vacant. They have opted instead to force me to petition them every year to get my money back.

Without further ado, here are the details of my property tax bill. This should be interesting to those vast numbers of you who don't own property but merely freeload on the exorbitant property taxes paid by your landlords.

First, the ad valorem rate is set at 1.4086% for this year. That's, as usual, the highest rate in the Bay Area and probably the highest in the state. That means, if you buy a house for $500,000, you will pay around $7,000 a year for this tax. In contrast, in places like Contra Costa, you'd pay more like $5,500 or $6,000.

Here are the parcel taxes, rounded to the nearest dollar to further ensure my anonymity:
Mosquito Abatement: $2
CSA Paramedic: $26
CSA Vector Control: $7
City Emerg Medical: $12
City Paramedic Srv: $10
School Measure G: $195
Oak Fire Prev Dist: $65
Flood Benefit 12: $16
CSA Vector Cntrl B: $4
Mosquito Assess 2: $3
AC Transit Meas VV: $96
City Library Serv: $86
EBMUD WetWeather: $67
East Bay Trail LLD: $5
EBRP Park Safety/M: $12
City Landscp/Light: $112

The total fee is about $720. What a rogue's gallery of junk. Included is the fee that hills residents get to pay because the city decided we weren't worthy of fire protection ($65). And, we get to pay $112 into the "LLAD" which is a notorious slush fund.

I'm not sure why I have to pay $16 for floods. I live on a hill. I pay $96 for bus service, even though the nearest bus route to my house is a mile away and is more or less useless to me.

City library services are obviously a waste. Do people even use books anymore in an era of Kindles, Nooks and the ever-present Internet?

And, don't even get me started on School Measure G. True, schools are improving in Oakland. But it has nothing to do with funding. It is a product of gentrification, pure and simple.

By the way, the schools get 0.1267% of the ad valorem tax, with community colleges getting another 0.0430%. That's just more money transferred from my checking account to someone's ridiculous pension. Glad to hear of it.

Regardless, I don't see the "Violence Prevention Tax" that I've seen in previous years. I'd be curious if anyone knows the reason.


  1. I can't take credit for the City's decision to halt collection of Measure Y taxes. The City has always admitted that if they lay off officers, then they are not "appropriating" the money required by Measure Y, and that they need to stop collecting the tax. So when the City made the idiotic decision to lay off 80 officers in June, that meant bye bye Measure Y - at least for now. But if Measure BB passes, you'll start paying the tax again, without any police staffing or budget appropriations requirements. That means you could be paying an extra $90 a year for a police force that is around HALF of what most people agree it should be. Tell everybody you know to VOTE NO!

  2. Well, My Oakland Hills conservative friend you make me laugh as oppossed to when I get my Oakland tax bill I want to cry. The highest taxes and I cannot send my child to my district school (and how do my neighbors send their kids to Crocker Highlands elementary but were not in that district?), the roads to my house are in horrendous condition, the library is small and feeble (Lakeshore Branch), the police don't do service calls, AC transit has cut its service...Thanks for your website and p[ostings