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Turns Out a Fiscal Analysis of that California Fire Sale Would be Smart

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Remember how Jerry Epstein, a Los Angeles Building Authority board member, was canned after asking the state for a cost-benefit analysis of its plan to sell off state-owned buildings? Well, the Associated Press got its hands on some construction bond- and maintenance-related documents and did its own preliminary analysis, finding that "After 20 years, the deal would end up costing the state about $1.1 billion more than it would gain in the transaction." It also previously found that "based on marketing reports prepared for prospective buyers...California would pay $5.2 billion over the next two decades to rent the buildings back from the new owners," and that there are "additional costs" of selling including about $140 million in parking fees. On the other hand, the AP also says it's estimated that owning and maintaining the buildings would cost the state $1.7 billion over the next 20 years. While a reporter yesterday got the governor to say he wouldn't go ahead with a sell-off plan that was bad for the state ("I'm not crazy and do a fire sale," says the Governator), the state is playing the "what about the Big One?" card, arguing that taxpayers would have to pay millions in the event of major damage to a state-owned building. Meanwhile, the potential sale and the firings have provoked the interest of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, who will hold a hearing next week. [The Ronald Reagan State Building Downtown, which could be sold off, via fridayinla]
· Documents detail net loss if Calif. buildings sold [AP]