S.F., Giants settle tax dispute

End of disagreement about stadium’s valuation means The City will save $3.9M

A six-year battle over the value of the San Francisco Giants’ stadium — which jeopardized millions of tax dollars — has come to an end.

City Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting announced Wednesday that a settlement over the stadium’s value was reached between The City and the Giants, which will protect $3.9 million in taxes for The City.

Since 2001, the Giants have fought The City over the initial assessment of AT&T Park, which was built privately by the ballclub. In 2001, The City set the value of the stadium at $311 million, while the Giants maintained it should be $200 million.

In 2005, the Giants prevailed before The City’s Assessment Appeals Broad, significantly lowering the valuations for the years 2001 through 2003.

Ting came on board that year and appealed the board’s decision in San Francisco Superior Court. The two sides then entered into mediation and began debating the stadium’s valuation for the years 2001 until 2006.

San Francisco stood to lose $9.96 million in tax money over the six-year period. As a result of Ting’s appeal, The City will now have to refund about $6.06 million, a savings of $3.9 million in taxes.

The stadium is now valued at $241 million, as agreed in the settlement. This will generate $2.73 million in taxes for The City. The disputed valuation had put The City’s valuation of the stadium at $365 million this year, while the Giants argued that it should have been valued at $160 million.

“We’re happy because we are significantly better off today than when I took over. If we didn’t fight for it, we wouldn’t have gotten the money,” Ting said.

The valuation, which originally was set to increase every year, will now slightly decrease each year, according to Ting. Ting acknowledged that the initial valuation of the stadium was incorrect in setting annual increases. While the value of most property would increase over time, in the case of a baseball stadium it is different, Ting said.

“A baseball stadium is not as useful 25 years later as the day it opens,” he said.

“We’re pleased that the matter has settled and the issue is now resolved and behind us,” San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President Jack Bair said.

jsabatini@examiner.comBay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

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