City Government

Boise To Sell Surplus Holdings

FINALLY! Boise City looks to be getting out of the real estate speculation business.

After three days of endless presentations and debate, the City Council has decided as part of the 2008-09 budget process to sell what they hope will be $11 million worth of “surplus land.”

Auction sales will include a couple hundred acres near the Outlet Mall south of the airport and several block sized parcels in the area of Fairview & 25 and Fairview & 30th. Both locations were purchased by the previous council as “ideal locations” for a police headquarters. The latest ideal location is off Emerald near 5 Mile described in a city press release as being “centrally located in the western division” of the city.

The GUARDIAN is glad to see the land return to the tax rolls. It will be nice if they get the prices they want, but under current market conditions it may be unlikely.

We have concerns about some policy decisions about funding methods–like not going to the voters for multi-year capitol purchases, but it is good to see them finally sell off some real estate holdings.

Citizens can comment on the final budget proposals at an August 14 public hearing which is required by law.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Maybe the City of Boise can take part of that proposed $11 million windfall to build some branch libraries — then use the remainder to partner with the BoDo folks to help construct the Library Project that is in the works. All those benefits at no cost to the taxpayers!

  2. I am loathe to call for a government entity to “partner” with a developer. Using tax money and government borrowing power to support private interests is anathema to capitalism and to our Constitution.

    Local governmental entities are, more and more, being used as tools of socialism, taking tax money and other public properties and giving them in whole or in part to private interests.

  3. That’s what you consider socialism?

    I’d think that’s just about the furthest thing from.

  4. curious george
    Jun 29, 2007, 2:42 pm

    Maybe Bond, James Bond, meant a Plutocracy.

    Kevin Phillips, Nixon’s chief political strategist for his ’68 campaign, asserts in his book “Wealth and Democracy” that America has become a Plutocracy in that there has been a fusion of money and government.

    I don’t agree with him politically, but it makes for interesting reading. Here’s the transcript of a conversation he had with Bill Moyers;

    But, more accurately, Boise’s sale of the land consummates its role as a land speculator – just a really poor one, since you try to sell when the market is hot. If the city held onto the land for a public purpose (even it that meant that it would take on the role of landlord, as long as the rent went to fund public initiatives that would otherwise be funded through a general tax) then it could not be asserted that it was playing the market.

    In my humble opinion, a public agency should never be buying land just to sell it – ever.

  5. Maybe then TJ you need to define socialism. Doesn’t it have to do with Goverment taking over business? Sure seems to me like there’s business interest there.

  6. curious george
    Jul 2, 2007, 8:38 am

    Here’s a good link to some sound descriptions of the various forms of governance – broken down into two camps: “Collectivisms”, like socialism & “Individualisms”, like capitalism.

    The spellings are a little off, given that it’s from a British website, but it offers some fair evaluations.

  7. Robert:

    I’d call it modern day “capitalism” more than I’d call it socialism, for sure.

    Perhaps a bit of a plutocracy, but still strongly rooted in capitalism.

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