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Fresno Rejects Save Mart Center's Property Tax Appeal

FRESNO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Fresno County's Assessment Appeals Board rejected an appeal by the California State University, Fresno Association over $5 million in back property taxes owed to the city over the Save Mart Center.

The rejected appeal marks the latest development in an ongoing battle between the Fresno Association and Fresno County that has been underway since the arena opened in 2003. The county maintains that the Association owes property taxes based on how often for-profit events, such as concerts and wrestling matches are held at the venue.

Deborah Adishian-Astone, an associate vice president with the university who serves as the association's executive director told the Fresno Bee that the association disputes the methodology used to arrive at the tax estimate, which is based on an external assessment made in 2005. While Adishian-Astone admits that some tax might be owed, the Association maintains that they are largely non-profit and should be taxed accordingly.

The association told the Fresno Bee that they intended to appeal the board's decision in court.

The 16,000 seat, SMG-managed arena first opened in November, 2003 after a $103 million construction and currently serves as a home to the Fresno State Bulldogs (basketball) and was formerly home of the Fresno Falcons hockey team. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers