By Robert Haugh
At the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, we got some interesting news. It really sounds like a coverup. No kidding.
City Manager Deanna Santana gave a detailed statement about how the City can’t get info about the 49ers’ tax appeal case and the decision to give them a big tax break. The City has been stonewalled by the the Assessor’s office and the County. Wow.
You can watch it here
Santana starts talking around 5:46:24. She’s followed by City Attorney Brian Doyle. Then the Council makes comments and asks questions. The whole clip is about 16 minutes.
Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights?):
There was a written decision about the appeal on November 28, 2018. But Assessor Larry Stone only went public with it on January 23, 2019. Huh?
The Assessor or the County still hasn’t given the written decision to the City. Doyle got it from a Mercury News reporter. Really?
The City has been asking for info since last December. Now they’ve put in a public records act request. This could get interesting. Or messy.
During the process, the Assessor’s office never reached out to the City for information about how the stadium is run. Really!
Here’s Santana’s closing statement:
“It is hard to believe that the Tax Assessor’s work and the AAB’s decision is thorough, accurate, and correct. It appears that as a result of the denial of the Stadium Authority’s participation the Assessor did not present the strongest case for denying StadCo’s appeal or reducing its impact.”
Doyle added this:
“It appears that the County was actively attempting to prevent us from participating in the appeal as well as giving us knowledge of the ruling and giving us a copy of the ruling.
I don’t understand what’s going on over there. My conversations with County Counsel have been almost unreal in terms of how little information they’re willing to give us, how coy they are, and how mysterious they seem about what the process is.”
Doyle then read a sentence from the November 28 decision:
“The Assessor presented a good deal of evidence that the 49ers ran profitable enterprise using the stadium for football purposes, something the Assessor says the Stadium Authority failed to do using the property for its purposes.”
Doyle couldn’t believe it and said this: