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THOUSAND OAKS : School District Joins Tax Protest

Joining their fellow school districts, Conejo Valley school board members voted unanimously Thursday to dispute the county’s efforts to charge for collecting the schools’ share of property taxes.

In addition, they said they won’t pay the bill of $574,473, which is due today.

In a letter to be hand-delivered to the Ventura County auditor-controller’s office today, Conejo Valley Unified School District officials say they believe that several state codes make it illegal and unconstitutional to charge school districts to collect property taxes.

Last year, the Legislature passed a law allowing counties to assess fees on school districts, cities and special districts to cover the administrative costs of collecting property taxes. Conejo Valley’s tax collection bill of $574,473,the highest of any single county school district, is due today.

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The California School Boards Assn. has challenged the legislation with a class-action lawsuit, which is pending.

“We believe the tax shouldn’t be collected until the lawsuit is resolved,” said Bill Seaver, superintendent of the Conejo school district.

Nine other school districts--Hueneme Elementary, Moorpark Unified, Oak Park Unified, Ocean View Elementary, Ojai Unified, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Rio Elementary, Simi Valley Unified and Ventura Unified--have also sent letters of protest to the county, said D.L. (Woody) McWaters, chief deputy auditor-controller for Ventura County.


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