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Santa Clara County Property Values Plummet, Schools Suffer

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The total assessed value of all property in Santa Clara County fell nearly 2.5 percent last year, the greatest decline since the Great Depression according to Assessor Larry Stone.

That translates to a loss of $7.4 billion in revenue for governmental agencies that depend on property taxes for funding.

“Every level of government is going to be impacted to some degree or another,” Stone said.

He said public schools will suffer the most since about half of the property taxes collected go to K-12 education. Community colleges, fire protection districts and water districts will also be faced with another year of tough cuts.

The culprit, Stone said, is a cycle of unemployment and businesses that cannot hire or expand.

“We have office buildings that were built prior to the economic demise and they’re vacant, very nice office buildings that you can see right through. Those obviously have an impact on assessed values.”

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