Stanford University has filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara County seeking a tax exemption for faculty homes located on its campus, Palo Alto Online reported.
The lawsuit covers approximately 900 residences—both single-family homes and condominiums—in a 450-acre area on campus known as the Faculty Subdivision.
Because the university owns the land and regulates ownership of the homes, the lawsuit contends that the property’s value should be assessed as a mix of “faculty interest”—which would require the payment of property taxes—and “college interest,” which would not.
Presently, both are included in local property tax assessments. But Stanford is arguing that the roughly 25 percent of the property’s value that is considered college interest should be exempt, while faculty homeowners would pay property taxes on the remaining 75 percent.
Martin Shell, Stanford’s vice president and chief external relations officer, told Palo Alto Online that the lawsuit seeks clarity on state laws. He argued that enabling faculty to buy homes in the area’s high-priced real estate market is central to the university’s educational mission of creating “a vibrant community with students and faculty all living and learning together.”