Palo Alto properties rebound

City's land among top four in county to go up in value

Property is worth just a tad more in Palo Alto this year, up 2.4 percent over last year, according to the annual report released by the Santa Clara County Assessor's Office today (June 30).

At $22.5 billion, Palo Alto's homes and business properties were assessed at more than ever before, more than double just 10 years ago.

Last year, Palo Alto was the only city in the county to show positive growth in assessed value, squeaking in with a 0.36 percent rise.

This year, the city's growth was trumped by Los Altos Hills' (3.8 percent), Los Altos' (3.6 percent) and Mountain View's (3.3 percent). Ironically, Los Altos Hills homeowners recently were granted $14 billion in lowered property evaluations, according to an earlier news release.

Palo Alto has experienced double-digit growth in its assessed valuation only three times in the last dozen years, in 2000, 2001 and not again until 2008.

Countywide, assessed values rose less than 1 percent in 2010.

"Compared to the last three years, this modest increase in property assessments is encouraging, and hopefully signifies the beginning of a positive trend from the depths of the Great Recession," County Assessor Larry Stone said.

"However, if you analyze my 16-year tenure as County Assessor, this growth is the third worst on record. In nine of those years, growth in assessed values exceeded 5 percent, including two years of double-digit increases."

The Assessor's Annual Report can be found at the Assessor's website by searching for "annual report."

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Posted by bob_h
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Let's see if I understand this. We already have one of the wealthiest communities in the country, and, now, despite the "recession", property values are increasing. Yet the government of Palo Alto insists on listening to an [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] ex-mayor who wants to make Embarcadero a street with one lane in each direction, and who travelled (at city expense) to England to study a bizarre colony of hermits who lived without electricity and thought Palo Alto could do the same thing. To say nothing about the one-time proposed study to replace city vehicles with a fleet that could run off of "bovine emissions".

This is Palo Alto. People here can afford to get what they want. This isn't Appalachia or the Ozarks. We have the money, we have the power.

When is the city going to learn? This is a rich community (even a modest house costs more than a mansion in the midwest). We don't need the incompetence we see from city hall. No styrofoam, no plastic bags, a potential crackdown on an admitted non-issue "smoking problem" - these idiots need to learn that in a community such as this, we have the resources to put the morons out of politics for good and make a clean sweep of city hall. And, we can do it in a few days if we have to. They need to start catering to the "real" residents of Palo Alto, not the spaced-out freaks left over from the '60s. If they don't, they're gone for good - and, I'll be the first to say "good riddance".

Like this comment
Posted by cur mudgeon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:45 am

I'm with you, Bob_H. These people need to remember who their constituency is and that they are PUBLIC servants. Elected or municipal employee, it's gotten bad.

Charleston Rd is a mess and getting worse and planned new housing will only make it worse--school crowding (why do these morons think that people move to Palo Alto and pay these prices--it's the schools, stupid!)

Let's pay a ton of money to choke traffic and lay off police and fire. Great idea! (of course this is not a serious statement, and sad that many in our community might not get the sarcasm intended)

Like this comment
Posted by Middlefield
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Make Embarcadero ONE lane??? The traffic's already backed up so badly people are making their own lanes! I almost got into an accident when I turned from Middlefield onto Embarcadero heading to El Camino and some fool was zooming toward me in my lane. I was totally blocked in with no place to go.

Stupid traffic planning dept!

Like this comment
Posted by Ross
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm

And rent went up 40% in my case. Thanks, Vittoria Management.

Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm

The Los Altos Hills City Charter explicitly calls for the city to be run for the benefit of its residents. Palo Alto has more complex objectives -- to be a good citizen of the planet, provide 100% lifetime health benefits to part time city workers, become the laughing stock of the world by not frowning at city council meetings, enrich Enron, make an end run around Prop 13 using the Utilities Department as a front, run an Eruv around the city, etc. We're special. So we get special rates!

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

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