SANTA CLARA -- After 15 months of fighting over $30 million in disputed tax funds, the San Francisco 49ers on Friday reached a fresh deal to split the money between the team's new stadium project and Silicon Valley classrooms.
The settlement would resolve a lawsuit the Niners filed last year after an obscure oversight board made up of local officials voted to pull the redevelopment money and give it to school districts and other government agencies.
But the deal still needs to be approved by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration, which rejected a similar agreement last year. A judge has since ruled that the 49ers are likely the rightful owners of the money but left the timing of the payments up in the air, prompting the Niners to take another shot at the settlement.
The pact calls for the team to get $35.2 million in redevelopment property tax revenue, including $5 million in interest payments, through 2017. That's several years later than the 49ers originally anticipated and about $1 million less in interest payments than originally thought.
In exchange, local agencies would get several million dollars -- roughly half of what they wanted. The biggest recipient would be the Santa Clara Unified School District, with other funds going to Santa Clara County, the city of Santa Clara, the West Valley-Mission Community College District, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and others.
The dispute hasn't affected construction on the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium, which is about two-thirds complete and on track to open next summer. It hasn't prompted school cuts, either, after voters in November approved taxes to fund California schools.
The deal released late Friday, two days before the Niners open their final season at Candlestick Park, is expected to be approved by city officials on Tuesday. The oversight board representing the schools and other agencies is expected to formally approve the settlement on Sept. 23, though it could take months for the state to sign off.
The saga, still far from over, has been unfolding for years as the money remains frozen under court order.
Santa Clara voters in June 2010 approved using redevelopment property tax revenue funds for the stadium. But then Gov. Brown and the Legislature abolished redevelopment agencies and put "oversight boards" made up of local officials in charge of figuring out which projects should still get funded.
In June 2012, the Santa Clara oversight board yanked the funds, saying local schools deserved it more than a football franchise. The 49ers immediately sued to get the money back, and the two sides later reached a settlement to split the money, similar to the deal proposed Friday. But Brown's Department of Finance, which has the ultimate say on which projects get funded, rejected the agreement in hopes of keeping all the money for schools, which would help the state balance its budget.
The case went back to court, and a judge in March ruled that the Niners had the best claim to the money, but he kicked the case back to the oversight board. Since then, the groups have been negotiating how to give the team the money.
The 49ers declined comment, citing the ongoing litigation. Officials with the city and state did not return messages seeking comment.
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.