Santa Clara County assessor wades into Cedar Fair and 49ers stadium debate

Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 2:44 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone - a longtime booster for bringing pro sports to the South Bay - joined the debate over a proposed San Francisco 49ers stadium Thursday, accusing Great America's owner of low-balling the park's value while also angling for a hefty selling price.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Friday, October 12, 2007 2:48 PM
$26 million? $44 million? How can that be the value of the park? Even if Cedar Fair doesn't own the land, the equipment and established customer base have to be worth more than that.
Friday, October 12, 2007 2:53 PM
Jeff's avatar I bought my house for about $40k more than its assessed value. The "other" assessors and Frole are right in that article. The tax assessment and market value have very little to do with each other, everyone knows that, and the Santa Clara County guy looks like a tool with an agenda.
Friday, October 12, 2007 2:58 PM
rollergator's avatar ^He very well MIGHT have the same agenda the 49ers have.....trying to get the price down.

What would we be saying about CF if they WEREN'T trying to get the highest price possible...

*Everyone* has an agenda....well, 'cept me... ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007 3:01 PM
I realize assessments are only ballpark figures (I got our place for $60K under the assessed value) but regardless, that $26 million figure seems wrong regardless of whether or not land is part of any potential sale.
Friday, October 12, 2007 5:05 PM
Welcome to the spin zone. As stated before, assessment and market value have very little in common, and the blowhole Larry Stone, who clearly has an agenda, is using his position to spin facts for the public. 44 million isn't a totally out of the question number for assets, but we all know that there's more value to the park than that. If Cedar Fair is leaving a profitable business behind, than they want to be paid to do so.

The 49ers are making a bid for the park to get it out of their way. Anyone who thinks they will actually pursue it as a business is kidding themselves. If the stadium is built there, than land values will go way up, and investors will be tapping on the shoulder of the city (or whoever owns the land) with a bag of money to develop around it (cough...Astroworld...cough). Cedar Fair would have traffic/parking problems, be landlocked, and probably have to deal with an NFL franchise (who usually think they are Gods gift to the city in the first place) in order to get anything done. I don't blame them for opposing the stadium. If they've done their homework and learned from the past, than they know that amusement parks next to stadiums have very little life expectancy.

Friday, October 12, 2007 5:20 PM

I realize assessments are only ballpark figures (I got our place for $60K under the assessed value) but regardless, that $26 million figure seems wrong regardless of whether or not land is part of any potential sale.

Rob, did you *have* to put it that way, given the context of the debate? :)

(note: Didn't read the article. Too lazy to find a valid registration code.)

The answer is simple. The tax value is based on the value of the land and its improvements. The sale price is based on the revenue the park would generate between now and the end of the current lease agreement. If the revenue the park can generate isn't substantially higher than the value of the property and improvements, then it's a bad business model and they should have shut it down years ago 'cause the park can't cover its fixed costs. Clearly that isn't the case, so this tax assessor is barking up the wrong tree.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Friday, October 12, 2007 6:13 PM
Tax assessed values are generally low for two reasons: 1 to avoid arguments over the amount of property taxes owed and 2 because local goverments often have caps on how much the TAV can increase in one year that does not always keep up with fair market value. Of course a company will argue for a low TAV when discussing how much property taxes to pay and then will want a premium price when they are going to sell. Considering that CF was not looking for a buyer and the land is about to go way up in value due to this sale, I really don't see a problem here. However, I was unable to sign in to read that article.
Friday, October 12, 2007 9:17 PM
Jeff's avatar You need to register to read the article? How come I never do? Weird.
Friday, October 12, 2007 10:19 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar It tells me I need to sign up as well. Perhaps you signed up long ago Jeff and it's stored in the cookie jar? Dang it, now I want a cookie.*** This post was edited by Jason Hammond 10/13/2007 12:13:23 AM ***
Saturday, October 13, 2007 4:12 AM
Is it possible that you have some sort of cookie and/or privacy setting blocked? I've never signed up or registered for ANY news site, and I was able to read that without any problems. Of course, I don't have any settings to block cookies or anything, either. I just use a virus scanner (of course :) ), a simple firewall, and plain old common sense on what sites to visit/not visit.

Edit: Late night typo*** This post was edited by dannerman 10/13/2007 4:14:16 AM ***

Saturday, October 13, 2007 11:09 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar My cookies are always set to allow, my firewall was off.
Saturday, October 13, 2007 11:24 AM
Jeff's avatar That's annoying because I don't like to link to stories that appear behind registrations.
Saturday, October 13, 2007 11:25 AM
Rob, did you *have* to put it that way, given the context of the debate?

Heh, I didn't even realize I did that.

What I still don't understand is, if some kind of agreement was made by the city and the previous owners to keep the site an amusement park, how does that get broken? If that's what the city wanted, I'm sure they were smart enough to have that agreement honored by any company that happened to purchase the park in the future.

As for the article, I had to register. Took less than sixty seconds.

*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 10/13/2007 11:26:20 AM ***

Saturday, October 13, 2007 12:48 PM
janfrederick's avatar Too bad. The Mercury is one of the better papers out there.

60 seconds isn't much. Still, pain in the arse.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 12:59 PM
I agree. I hate having to register to read an online article. But at least it's a free option, unlike the Wall Street Journal.
Saturday, October 13, 2007 4:51 PM
The assesor should not be voicing his opinion on this. Being a government official, he should remain neutral. I think his actions border on unethical.
Monday, October 15, 2007 9:23 AM
The main thing I hate about sites that require registration is that once you go through the registration process, the site usually dumps you at the front door and forgets what article it was you were trying to read.

That, and those sites that assume that because you registered, you must be interested in their crap. Anybody know how to get off of the Erie Times-News mailing list without losing site registration?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, October 15, 2007 10:53 AM
Does that appear in your mailbox as Go Erie? If we're talking about the same thing, I'm just as frustrated as you are.
Monday, October 15, 2007 11:35 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I'm still a fan of BugMeNot. :)

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