The following letter has been received from Emeryville resident Shirley Enomoto:
After five years of squabbling with two superintendents of the Emery School District (John Sugiyama and Debbra Lindo), going through two attorneys who found the issue with merit but later advised that there was a "conflict of interest," and retaining one attorney who finked out after he became attorney for Central Valley ranchers opposing the high speed rail, the Emery School District has agreed to the following:
-Every two years a mass mailing will be mailed to all Emeryville taxpayers regarding the senior exemption for Measure A, the school parcel tax approved by the voters in 2003 and extended to 2019.
-Those who file for the exemption will automatically receive each year a reminder with an application for the exemption. (I received my notice April 12.)
-Notices will be posted in the Emeryville electronic newsletter, the Oakland Tribune (now the Bay Area News Group) and the [Emeryville] Senior Center newsletter, "The Link."
I was not successful in obtaining refunds for seniors who overpaid the parcel tax after turning 65 because of no knowledge of the exemption.
Shirley Enomoto has lived in Emeryville for 18 years and has been a "trouble maker"she says, to City Hall for as many years. A member of Residents United for a Livable Emeryville (RULE) and a long time volunteer for the schools, Ms Enomoto has also long rallied for fair treatment for senior citizens. She discovered the School District wasn't properly telling senior citizen property owners they could file for an exemption to pay their Measure A tax, a provision by law but widely unknown by Emeryville seniors and until now the District has been uncooperative to a fix.
Emeryville is lucky to have citizen activists such as Shirley Enomoto keeping vigil.