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Rant: City of Houston sells property at 77% discount!

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

I posted previously about a sweetheart deal where the City of Houston was leasing 6 acres of prime real estate valued at $26 million to a non-profit for a whopping $1 per year. Mayor Bill White and city officials began reviewing some of these leases and had decided that this particular lease was no longer valid and was beginning to pursue options for selling the property at market value or renegotiating the lease to call for rental at market rates. Finally, an elected official in this city had grown a pair and was willing to do right by the taxpayers, or so I thought.

It was announced late last week that the non-profit and the city had reached an agreement for the non-profit to purchase the land (remember valued at $26 million) for $6 million under favorable financing terms. For those of you playing along at home, that is a 77% discount to true market value of the property. Just when we thought that Mayor White could develop a pair of his very own, it seems that they have withered away in the blink of an eye. This idiocy has cost the taxpayers in Houston $20 million, plus the additional jobs and tax revenue that would have been generated from the construction of the sure-to-be high priced residential development that would have gone in at the site, along with the perpetual stream of property tax revenue that would have been generated.

Hey Mayor White – while you are feeling so generous, how about a 77% discount for all of us who pay property taxes to the City of Houston? Sure it wouldn’t be a financially prudent thing to do, but this surely shows that isn’t a concern. C’mon! What do ya say?

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April 23, 2007 - Posted by | Off Topic

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