Davis Drive Property Tax Bill Details Revealed

The current owners of 6-8 and 10 Davis Dr. paid $183,000 in property taxes in 2011; click on PDF to the right for details.

Following last Friday's article, , several Patch users submitted comments asking for some clarification of the amount property tax currently being paid by the property owners at 6-8 and 10 Davis Dr., the site of the

Belmont community development director, Carlos de Melo, forwarded a copy of the secure property tax statements paid to the City of San Mateo in 2011 by the owners of the Davis Drive property. (See PDFs that accompany this article). This information is public and is available on the county's website www.sanmateocountytaxcollector.org/.

The current net value of the combined properties is $14,901,932. The total amount of taxes paid by Thomson Learning, Inc. (Cengage), owners of 6-8 and 10 Davis Dr. to the county in 2011, was $183,467.56. (6-8 Davis Dr.: $37,976.72; 10 Davis Dr.: $145,490.84)

 This amount includes special charges to parcel tax, San Mateo Junior College bond, and Sequoia Union High School District maintenance, Belmont Sewer Treatment Facility, and others. (For a breakdown of special charges, click on the PDF to the right.)

The is expected to vote on the revised put forth by Crystal Springs Uplands School at its July 19 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of Belmont City Hall, One Twin Pines Lane.

For more information, go to www.belmont.gov.


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James Wright July 10, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Joan, what would the tax be if the property were sold at market rates? This could be a lot higher than $180,000 per year due to Prop 13. This might be a more relevant benchmark given the property's inability to find lessors and the possibility that it will thus be sold.
Jeff Selman July 10, 2012 at 07:13 PM
James - It is not known what are market rates. What is known is that Cengage (which was spun out of Thomson Learning several years ago by private equity) reported that it moved the last of its employees out of these premises in 2009 and in 2010 took a non-cash impairment charge in excess of $6 million on the value of the property. As a result, it is currently carrying the value of the property at approximately $9 million. The answer to Steve's question above whether Cengae is seeking a reassessment of the property to match the reduced book value has not been reported. Also, it is known that Cengage has recently restructured its debt, and yesterday Moody's downgraded its credit rating to Caa. Thus, it is reasonable to presume that Cengage is not looking to carry this property much longer. As for any buyer other than CSUS stepping up, the question would presumably be whether a company would like to own the property for its own use, or would the property instead be sold to a real estate manager who would look to lease it out (and then, the issue which you raise about locating tenants would become important in pricing out what a buyer would be willing to pay for the property).
Steve Hayes July 10, 2012 at 07:18 PM
James Actually, taxes will be lower. The County assessed value is $14.9 million - that drives the $183K The company was carrying the assets at $15.1 million (Net Book Value), but last year they reduced that value by $6 million (look at their Annual Report). So at least at the time of Cengage's last fiscal year end the value was $9.1 million and that value was based on independent appraisals (market rates).
Joan S. Dentler July 10, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Hi 1Diane....yes, I believe it is Hallmark Dr.....the caption is incorrect and it doesn't apply to this story, so I have removed it. Good catch!
Joan S. Dentler July 10, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Hi James, Tim and Steve....all great questions, and you guys are going to find this hard to believe, but municipal finance and tax assessment are not my areas of expertise:)....but what I CAN do is lob these questions to the experts within the city and have them respond.


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