Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara

USA Today Images

Lawsuit Filed Over 49ers' $36 Million Tax Refund

Mike Colgan
May 21, 2019 - 1:56 pm

SANTA CLARA — The Santa Clara County assessor has thrown the red challenge flag out against the San Francisco 49ers.

Larry Stone said he was shocked that the assessment appeals board granted the 49ers a $36 million refund on their Levi's Stadium property taxes.

“It’s unprecedented to have this kind of result come out of the assessment appeals board,” Stone told KCBS Radio. “I’ve been the assessor for 24 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

So he challenged the board by filing a lawsuit Monday and has named the Niners as a respondent, according to TV station KPIX.

The 49ers own Levi's Stadium, but the assessment appeals board held that the team should only be taxed on the home football games played. Concerts and other events in the stadium were excluded. 

Related: Santa Clara Officials Don't Want To Pay Bill From 49ers

Stone said that's ridiculous, because there are only eight regular season and two preseason football games there out of "probably 150 events that go in that facility every year.

"I don’t believe that it’s fair for the 49ers to only pay property taxes on six months and 10 games," said Stone. 

Schools are taking the biggest hit with San Clara Unified losing out on $13 million.  

The 49ers said they're aware of the lawsuit but had no comment.

The last time the county assessor filed suit against the board in Santa Clara County was in 1992, Stone said. That dispute related to a convention center.