News - October 27, 2010

Sequoia Healthcare board majority could reduce tax

Contrary to the initial opinion from the San Mateo County deputy controller, a majority vote by the board of the Sequoia Healthcare District could result in lowering the special district's property taxes.

The state code gives a local district board the right "on its face" to decline some or all of its property tax revenues, which would then lower the actual tax burden on property owners, Brenda Carlson, a chief deputy with the office of the San Mateo County Counsel, told The Almanac.

In an interview, Deputy Controller Kanchan Charan said that since there is no apparent precedent for such an action in this county, a decision to decline the revenues would likely initiate an analysis of the tax code by the county counsel in a search for other relevant provisions.

Incumbent board member Jack Hickey is running for re-election as one of a three-candidate slate who, if elected, promise to eliminate the tax. The code appears to state that such an action would be temporary and that it would have to be renewed on a year-by-year basis.


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