In 2008, eBay’s property in Santa Clara County was assessed at over $220 million. Then the recession hit. Property values plummeted, and eBay’s property is now valued at just $131.5 million. While that is still a hefty chunk of change for most people, it is almost $90 million less, which means that Santa Clara county will have to forego the property tax on $90 million. And that’s just one property.

County Assessor Larry Stone has estimated that the values of 5,400 properties in the city’s redevelopment district decreased in value by $1.6 billion. He also expects the values to remain low for at least the next two years. With owners realizing the savings to be had by having the value of their properties reassessed, Stone’s office is working overtime. “When you’re used to dealing with 3,000 to 4,000 appeals, and you get 12,000 in one year and they all have to be done as individual appraisals — try to do that in a two-year time frame,” he says.

And then Stone faces opposition, particularly from groups whose very existence is dependent on funding from property taxes. Harry Mavrogenes of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency has called Stone’s willingness to reduce values “aggressive.” Stone replies that he is simply doing what he can to assist the owners, and that many hundreds, if not thousands of properties continue to be over-assessed.

What all this means is that there will be less money in the community for the next couple of years. It is, however, good news for property owners and tenants, who will get to keep more of their earnings.
Read More at the Business Journal.