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SF Giants Now Want More Tax Breaks Claiming Stadium Has Fallen in Value

The Giants have filed an appeal of their property tax bill, claiming the value of their stadium has fallen by millions despite property tax rates going up for everyone in the city.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the team filed its appeal saying AT&T Park is now worth less than the $200 million they paid to have it built in 2001. The requested reduction would total to nearly $8 million in tax savings if the city were to agree to the cut.

In a statement explaining the appeal, Giants’ senior vice president and general counsel Jack Bair insisted, “All taxpayers have the right to have their property taxes set accurately and fairly and free from political influence.”

At issue is the retroactive tax hike of 97 percent leveled by city Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu. The team thinks the hike was unfair.

“We do not believe that this increase is justified, and have exercised our right to have the assessment reviewed by a neutral panel of experts as provided by law,” Blair added in his statement.

Another problem is the wide gulf between what the two sides say the property is worth. The city claims AT&T Park–originally named Pacific Bell Park–is worth $407 million while the team says it is more like $158 million.

According to some sources the construction cost for the stadium was $306 million with the public paying in $15 million. But by other accounting the real construction cost was $343 million with the public actually kicking in a much higher $142 million once everything was finally taken into account.

In fact, according to urban planner Judith Grant Long’s estimate in 2005, the city had already lost upwards to $83 million in property taxes that were never collected.

Meanwhile, since the park was built, property taxes for everyone else in the City by the Bay have more than doubled.

According to a 2014 report, San Francisco had the fourth highest property taxes in California.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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