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Santa Clara County a Step Closer to Giants Stadium

From Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants appeared to move closer to a new home away from chilly Candlestick Park when three more city councils agreed to put a financing plan for a new stadium on the November ballot.

Late Tuesday night, the Santa Clara, Los Altos and Mountain View city councils agreed to let the voters decide whether a tax should be imposed on their communities to help build a $152.8-million, 45,000-seat stadium on 120 acres south of San Francisco.

The Santa Clara council voted 5 to 2 after debating the issue until 2:30 a.m.

The Mountain View council voted 6 to 0 to place the tax measure on the ballot although two council members said they opposed the stadium.

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“This is a discretionary use of money,” Councilwoman Dena Bonnell said. “But I feel it’s my responsibility to let the voters decide if they want to be taxed. It’s their choice.”

In Los Altos, the City Council voted 3 to 1 to place the 1% utility tax measure on the November ballot.

The Saratoga City Council rejected the proposal by a vote of 4 to 1, while the Campbell council voted 3 to 1 against the stadium.

The Giants got a big boost Monday when the San Jose City Council voted 8 to 1 to support placing the finance plan on the ballot. The plan calls for San Jose residents to contribute $7 million annually under the utility tax.

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Palo Alto council members Monday night voted 8-0 against the tax. Cupertino also rejected the idea.

The support of San Jose, by far the largest city in the county, and Santa Clara, site of the proposed ballpark, are the most crucial for the Giants.

If endorsed by voters, the tax would raise as much as $16 million annually from participating communities. The proposed agreement stipulates that when bonds are paid off in 30 years, the utility levy would end.

Stadium backers say that even with some Santa Clara County cities voting against the tax proposal, the project could still go forward.

According to San Jose officials, tax revenues from San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, and unincorporated Santa Clara County would provide more than 80% of the needed stadium financing.


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