News

Sequoia Healthcare board 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.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 7:45 am

This is no surprise, this is not news, this is what 2 Grand Juries and Jack Hickey have been saying for years now.

What is news is the Almanac has printed this story before the election is over. There is another newspaper who published false statements regarding the tax reduction. That newspaper endorsed three gentlemen who used the papers false statements in a political flyer. The newspaper has been notified of the false statements and has not made a correction or retraction or even published my letter to editor.

"Editor Sanmateodailyjournal" <letters@smdailyjournal.com>

Editor,

The San Mateo Daily Journal has made some false statements in their endorsement of Barbara, Faro and Shefren for Sequoia Healthcare District.

"In this difficult economic time, it is tempting to say the district should be dissolved so there is not taxpayer money going to philanthropic purposes."

Here come the false statement.

"The money would still be collected and instead go to other governmental agencies, so the average tax bill would remain the same regardless of the district's existence."

The Grand Jury has received a legal opinion from the San Mateo County Counsel to the effect that the California Taxation and Revenue Code 96.8 authorizes a hospital district such as Sequoia Healthcare District to request the county auditor make a tax reduction in any amount down to zero for the district's taxpayers on a yearly basis WITHOUT THE REALLOCATION OF THE REDUCED TAXES TO OTHER AGENCIES.


Michael G. Stogner

San Carlos, Ca

This is problem in San Mateo County, at least the Almanac looked into it and updated the story which equals a complete opposite answer.It's a shame the voters didn't have this story out before they mailed in their votes.



Like this comment
Posted by question
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Doesn't the district and the board have to stay in existence to make an annual request of the county auditor to reduce taxes to zero?

What happens if the district is "dissolved"?


Like this comment
Posted by John J. "Jack" Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Correct. We intend to make the annual requests until such time as a election for dissolution is held. This could take several years. Regarding taxes after dissolution, this quote from a District Dissolution Memo (from Mark Hudak) gives the scenarios: Web Link
"The effect on future property tax assessments is less clear. A dissolved district may not continue to levy and collect property taxes. Under one theory, the increment of property taxes that had been apportioned to the dissolved district would be redistributed among other public agencies within the tax rate area. A second theory holds that this increment would no longer be collected, so that each property’s assessment would be lowered by that amount. There is no definitive case law or Attorney General opinion on this point. It is more likely that the entire 1% property assessment allowed under Proposition 13 would continue to be collected and the increment that had been apportioned to the dissolved district would be shared by the remaining cities, counties, and special districts within the tax rate area."
The TEAM of Hickey, Graham and Stogner would seek to effect a permanent reduction in property taxes.


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