Menlo Park residents often have more questions than answers, but at least one question can now be put to rest: the San Mateo County Assessor's Office confirmed that Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems qualifies the campus at Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway for a reassessment of its property value.
The State Board of Equalization made the ruling last week, said Terry Flinn, special assistant to the assessor. Oracle bought Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in January.
Reassessment of the $355.4 million campus could boost property tax revenues for Menlo Park, but the new amount remains to be seen.
However, that money won't replenish the city's general fund. Mayor Rich Cline said that since the campus lies within redevelopment agency boundaries, any increased property tax would funnel back into redevelopment projects -- and not the general fund.
Mr. Flinn said that due to the property's size and complexity, the appraisers may not finish the reassessment before June 2011.
"Commercial properties are pretty distressed these days," Mr. Flinn said, agreeing that the recession has eaten away at the property's value during the past two to three years.
The sprawling 2.5-million-square-foot campus joins a list of approximately 13,000 properties being reappraised.
Oracle declined to comment.
"In downtimes we get more decline in value requests. It's more complicated when the market's down. Taxes are one of highest operating costs owners have besides mortgage, so they start taking a closer look," Mr. Flinn explained.
The previous owner, Sun, was one of Menlo Park's top sales tax revenue producers.