Not much has been reported by either side about why Frank McCourt was able to sell the team yet hold on to half of the land. I came across an article (Tom Elias: The Dodger deal’s Prop. 13 loophole) that might explain why the Guggenheim Group and McCourt have become odd bedfellows. It seems that by keeping the ownership of the land by the new owners at no more than 50%, they will save millions of dollars per year on property taxes.
“Amid the euphoria that erupted in much of California when a group led by former basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson and financier Mark Walter spent more than $2 billion to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and its stadium last week, one question led to some consternation.
Why should Frank McCourt, the notoriously wasteful outgoing owner, remain associated with the team, holding a 50 percent interest in the 200-plus acres of asphalt parking around Dodger Stadium?
After all, Dodger fans stayed away from games in droves last year to protest the personal use to which McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie put the team and its money. Fans wanted McCourt gone, even if that let him make off with hundreds of millions of dollars in profits after selling the ballclub.
The answer may have a lot to do with a loophole in Proposition 13, the landmark property tax limitation law passed as a 1978 initiative. That law sets the tax on any property, commercial or residential, at 1 percent of the latest sales price and allows for tax increases of no more than 2 percent per year.”
The complete story can be read at http://www.redding.com/news/2012/apr/03/tom-elias-the-dodger-deals-prop-13-loophole/
So far, so good for the 2012 Dodgers. Kershaw and Kemp are continuing their torrid 2011 performances. Ethier is looking good with a huge slugging percentage. Dee Gordon is setting the table for those guys and, while his batting average does not show it, Mark Ellis has done what the team wanted and hit several balls to the right side to move Gordon to third base and scoring position for Kemp. Even Uribe has scratched out a few hits. But James Loney is 0 for 2012. He is a vital piece of the puzzle if the Dodgers have any hope of playing in October. With new owners committed to winning and possessing some money, Loney could find himself on another team in August if he doesn’t start hitting the gaps and driving in runs.