The Mesaure Y Castration will be known on the November, 2010 ballot as - you guessed it, "Measure Y." Guess I need to change the name of my blog, huh? Do you think the City did that intentionally? That would just be too clever for them. Anyway, just to give you an update on where things stand, my argument "against" the Measure Y revision/castration was accepted by the City, and Ignacio Delafuente's argument "against" the new Measure X (the $360 tax) was also accepted. I read Delafuente's argument, which was cosigned some other prominent Oaklanders, and I liked it, so that's good.
In the meantime, the City has informed me that there's nothing they can do about my objections to the ballot titles. Since the filing deadline with the Registrar of Voters has passed, we're all stuck with the misleading language (i.e. "no additional cost" for the new Measure Y, and "rigorous" oversight for the $360 tax) unless somebody files a legal challenge. I'll let somebody else take that one on.
A couple of days ago posters asked about class actions and claims against the City. Measure Y actually does have language prohibiting class actions, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't file a claim for a refund. In fact, you better file your claim pronto if you want to piggyback on my efforts. The City may claim that this is a prerequisite to getting your money back. So here's a sample from the letter I sent them - feel free to cut and paste. If your claim is denied, make sure you appeal that denial to the "Business Tax Review Board" within 60 days. Good luck!
Director of Finance
Finance & Management Agency
City of Oakland City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
Re: Claim for Measure Y Refund
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the terms of Measure Y, please consider this a request for a refund for Measure Y taxes collected in 2008 and 2009. The basis for the refund claim is the City’s continued violation of numerous aspects of Measure Y, as outlined in [ ] previous litigation (Sacks v. City of Oakland) and previous recent correspondence with the City Attorney’s Office. Specifically, Measure Y provides: “Minimum Police Staffing Prerequisite at Fiscal Year 03/04 Level - No tax authorized by this ordinance may be collected in any year that the appropriation for staffing of sworn uniformed police officers is at a level lower than the amount necessary to maintain the number of uniformed officers employed by the City of Oakland for the Fiscal Year 03-04 (739).”
Last fall, the City of Oakland cancelled the 166th police academy. In the Spring of 2009 the City adopted a budget that contained no appropriations for additional police academies. As a result, the police force has dropped below 802 (its authorized strength). Therefore, the City failed to appropriate sufficient non Measure Y funds to maintain the police force at 739 and is in violation of Measure Y. Collection of the tax is patently illegal.
I [ ] received my 2009 Secured Property Tax Statement indicating a Measure Y tax for $90.72. Last year the tax was for $88.00. For most of 2008, the police force was under its authorized strength of 802 officers as well, and the City failed to appropriate sufficient funds for that year as well. On this basis, I am claiming a refund for both years. I look forward to receiving a prompt response to this demand.