Larry Ellison: the rich get richer and the schools get poorer

The Chronicle today ran a story about Larry Ellison's finesse of San Mateo County tax laws netted the billionaire $3 million.

>>The chief executive officer of software giant Oracle Corp. will be paid from San Mateo County property taxes collected this year, which otherwise would have gone to schools, the county general fund and cities, among other things, Deputy Controller Kanchan Charan said. The hit to schools alone will be nearly $1.4 million.<<

Wow. He's worth $25 billion but claimed the home that he built (and had huge cost overruns) suffers from "significant functional obsolescence." In other words, he spent a crapload of money on property and a style of home that suits him, but found a loophole to make a little back on his bad decision.

>>Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Lilienthal declined comment, and Bennett, of San Francisco law firm Bennett & Yee, didn't return a call from The Chronicle. But Ellison's appeal claimed the property suffered from "significant functional obsolescence" because there is a finite market for high-end luxury homes, limited appeal for 16th-century Japanese architecture and the "over improvements" and "excessive" landscaping are costly to maintain.<<

Unbelievable.

>>

Woodside will lose about $78,000 from the $130,000 in property taxes it collected on the Mountain Home Road property during the past few years, Town Manager Susan George said. Nevertheless, she doesn't begrudge Ellison.

"He went through a process that was laid out by the law," she said. "It shouldn't make any difference how much money he has if the process was fair."<<

By the way, maybe your home could net a refund. Unfortunately, without a cadre of personal lawyers to do your checking, probably not.

>>"Three million dollars to Larry Ellison is the equivalent of $300 to your average home owner, who's probably being over-assessed in the wake of this market, but doesn't know the ins and outs and have the advisers getting them the tax break," [Doug Heller, executive director of Santa Monica advocacy group Consumer Watchdog,] said.<<

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Larry Ellison: the rich get richer and the schools get poorer

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