Sun Micro reassessment coming

State rules campus qualifies

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.

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Like this comment
Posted by Willy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Awww, poor Oracle loses out on a corporate welfare benefit.

Now is we can just reassess all the other commercial properties that pay next to nothing in property taxes, thanks to loopholes on the commercial side of Prop 13.

Like this comment
Posted by Tax Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm

The Bohannon properties should be reassessed as soon as the development agreement is approved.

Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 7, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Don't get to greedy these companies can easily move elsewhere. And the city will be flat out of that tax base.

Like this comment
Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Agreed that the Bohannon properties should be reassessed, but they won't be.

As part of the development agreement, a provision could have been included forcing a reassessment of the land, which enjoys a nice low assessment under the protection of Prop 13.

However, Bohannon wouldn't agree to a reassessment and the City didn't force it. It is one of the most obnoxious parts about the project. The lopsided development agreement, which will govern for 20 years these land parcels, has many other lousy provisions as well.

The only way now that the land will be reassessed is if Bohannon development sells the property. In general Bohannon Development holds on to their properties. They own the Hillsdale shopping center, which is, according to Wikipedia, one of only 4 major shopping centers in the country that have not been sold to REITs.

This is one of many reasons why voters this November should Vote No on Measure T.

Like this comment
Posted by 5B
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Wouldn't the upward reassessment of Sun greatly benefit the Ravenswood and Sequoia school districts?

Like this comment
Posted by school mom
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Property taxes would go to the Sequoia Union High School District. A reassessment would not produce any new funding to Ravenswood or Redwood City Elementary districts; new taxes would be offset by identical reductions of state support because they are Revenue Limit districts.

Like this comment
Posted by Realistic observer
a resident of Belle Haven Elementary
on Sep 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Don't count on an increase in taxes here. This campus is not worth close to the amount at which it is currently assessed.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 8, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Realistic -

An excellent caution.

People should be careful what they wish for. Tax assessments work both ways these days!

Like this comment
Posted by next up
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

So when are they going to reassess the property Trader Joes sits on?

Like this comment
Posted by some research
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm

The Campus at 18 Network Circle parcel # 055-411-140 is currently assessed at $89 million.

Here you have 1 million sq feet of office on about 55 acres of land.

Check for yourself at:

Web Link

Land going from 3 - 5 million / acre and building space at $400 - 600 / square foot.

You rally believe this property isn't worth multiples of the current assessment?

Paying now just under $1 million in property taxes.

Like this comment
Posted by some research
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Sorry there are more parcels than the one shown above.
assessed value
055-411-110 151 million
055-411-120 54 million
055-411-130 48 million
055-411-140 89 million

total of about 57 acrea. paying taxes of about 3.9 million each years

Building around about 1 million sq feet.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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