If the proposed parcel tax to benefit Pleasanton schools passes, it will be fairly simple for homeowners to pay the tax and list it on their IRS 1040 Schedule A as a deduction. Renters of apartments or other MDU (multiple dwelling units) types of living will have the landlord roll the tax into the monthly rental amount. There will not be the same visibility that this portion of your rent is actually a tax passed through to you that you can take off your tax return.
If the parcel tax passes and ceases after several years, what will the mechanism be for the monthly rent to be lowered with changing tenants? The landlord may not lower the rent to reflect the tax no longer being assessed and just calculate the percentage increase based on including the tax, which amounts to a forever tax.
There are people who fall through the cracks who are retired but not age-qualified seniors but who live on a fixed income. Technically, some are also not disabled. So far they are fully eligible to pay the parcel tax.
Where I live there are 22 units and the only children are those who are born here. Of the 3 school age children, 2 are home schooled and only 1 attends Pleasanton schools. It would be surprising to our MDU residents to find that with relatively low income (far below the $113K median household income for Pleasanton) we are supporting Pleasanton schools with no kids of our own.
If the parcel tax passes, those with homes and kids will be glad as will teachers and administrators. I suppose the thought is that incomes are so high in Pleasanton that everyone can afford to do so and that it is appropriate that everyone pay for the schools. I remember asking people what they did with their stimulus checks. When I could not get any answer someone finally spoke up and said, "We make too much money to receive a stimulus check." That never occurred to me and perhaps what I've written has never occurred to you.
Fairness of Proposed Parcel Tax to Renters
Original post made by Beth Turner, Downtown, on Mar 18, 2009
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