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State Building Sale Moving Forward

— California is preparing to sell 11 state buildings in order to make some much-needed money. Monday, the state public works board voted to allow the sale to move forward for the final few buildings. But critics say the move will cost the state more in the long run.

The plan to sell the 11 building, and then lease them back, was part of a 2009 budget deal. A buyer has already been chosen, and after the sale’s complete -- likely next month -- the state should net about $1.2 billion.

The buildings include The Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles and the Attorney General Building in Sacramento.

Eric Lamareaux is with the Department of General Services, which is overseeing the sale.

“This is definitely a good deal for taxpayers; the ability to generate revenue now and avoid further program cuts or tax increases,” said Lamareaux.

The state’s non-partisan legislative analyst says that over the next three-and-a-half decades, the move will cost the state $6 billion more than if it hung on to the buildings.

“We would certainly recommend long-term, lasting solutions rather than these kind of one-term solutions that just create further problems in later years,” said Mark Whitaker with the LAO.

The past few budget deals have involved a number of short-term solutions and with a projected deficit of more than $25 billion it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of them.

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