Questions for Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone on the Huge Tax Break for the 49ers

By Robert Haugh

We’ve been trying to get County Assessor Larry Stone to answer some important questions about last year’s 49ers assessment tax appeal case. That decision gave the 49ers a huge tax break.  

According to our sources, it may be one of the biggest cuts in Santa Clara County history. Some people estimated the total hit to be about $240 million, not just the approximately $30 million that Stone has told the public.

The tax loss will mostly come out of the pockets of the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) and the West Valley-Mission College Community College District (WVMCCD).

We’re having no luck getting answers to some important questions. Stone emailed back and said he doesn’t want to answer our questions in writing.

But he wants to talk about it. We’re not sure why. I told him I have a job and daughter that limits my time. But that didn’t matter to Stone. Here’s his message:

“I am happy to answer your questions, but not in writing at this time. I will comment that the “multiple sources” you reference are nearly 100% incorrect.”

Here are the exact questions that I sent to Stone.

  • I have multiple sources that say you met with the SCUSD and WVMC district to discuss the 49ers assessment appeal issue. My sources say that you have told them that you will not appeal the board’s ruling.  Is that true? If so, why?

  • I’ve been trying to get information from the City of Santa Clara on the full financial impact of the decision? The city staff says that your office won’t disclose it. Is that true? If so, why?  If not, what is the full cost over the 40 years? Can you tell me the total dollar estimates and the total value in today’s dollars?

  • Is this the biggest financial loss in Santa Clara County history for an assessment appeal? If not, where does it rank on the list?

  • My sources tell me that SCUSD, WVMC, and the City of Santa Clara have the right to sue you directly on this decision? Is that true? Or would they sue the County? Or is this inaccurate?

We welcome Stone’s answers to these questions. We’ll print them word for word. Or maybe other elected officials and reporters could ask him these questions.

2 comments

  1. Voters always pass education tax bills but the money is not always spent on classroom needs. Give the voters an accountability of how the money was spent after passage of the last education tax bill. This is exactly why there is almost always a school tax hike on a ballot. As the above article states: “The tax loss will mostly come out of the pockets of the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) and the West Valley-Mission College Community College District (WVMCCD)”.

  2. He doesn’t want to answer your questions even though you asked good and fair questions. He’s ducking and weaving cuz he lost big for the taxpayers.

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