The San Francisco 49ers owners won another court victory yesterday in the battle over $30 million in property taxes they want for their Santa Clara stadium, getting a restraining order (yes, another one) preventing the Santa Clara board that controls the money from spending it on anything else:
The decision to temporarily put the tax funds under lock and key follows an impassioned public debate over whether the redevelopment money should be used on the Santa Clara stadium or local schools. The judge presiding over the case set a July 27 hearing at which he may rule on the 49ers’ claim that the team should get the funds because voters had earmarked the money specifically for the stadium.
“This is a powerful argument, and one that may prevail,” said Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly.
The San Jose Mercury News describes this as a signal that the judge “may soon give [the money] to the team”; I read it more as a sign that the judge thinks the argument has enough merit that the 49ers could prevail, and he wants to be sure the county doesn’t go blow the money on something frivolous like schoolteachers in the meantime. Still, it’s inarguably a good sign for the 49ers owners, who are now one step closer to getting the money that was authorized by voters to come out of redevelopment agency funds, back before the redevelopment agency was dissolved and its funds reverted to control of the new board. Me, I’m just hoping for a quick decision so I don’t have to type that last clause too many more times…