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Bill Lockyer opposes state property sales

November 15, 2010 | 11:32 am

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said Monday that he is opposed to a plan to sell state properties to raise money to fill this year's budget gap, calling it "poor fiscal policy and bad for taxpayers."

The proposed sale faces a vote Monday of the five-member state Public Works Board. Lockyer said he is directing his representative to oppose the plan to sell 11 properties to generate $1.2 billion in short-term cash.

The state would then lease the properties back from the private owners for a minimum of 20 years.

"Taxpayers will be burdened with decades of lease payments," Lockyer said in a statement.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office said this month that the transaction amounts to a 10% interest-rate loan over 35 years that will cost the state $1.4 billion.

Proponents say it will stop deeper cuts or higher taxes in the current state budget.

Lockyer also questioned why the state "would no longer operate these buildings, which it could do without terminating employment for thousands of state workers who have cared for our properties efficiently and effectively."

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento