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Watchdog: Sacramento May Leave Money On Table With Kings Land Swap

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A watchdog group says a new land swap deal as part of the Sacramento’s subsidy for a new Sacramento Kings arena is not a good deal for the city.

Sacramento needs to give up $37 million in property as part of the subsidy to build the arena.

The original deal would have the city sell a 60-acre piece of the Haggin Oaks Golf Course to the Kings organization.

Instead, they’re working on a swap, offering to sell four parcels of land in downtown Sacramento. That includes the garage at the Downtown Plaza, the empty plaza building on 10th and J streets, and an empty lot on H Street.

“The city was very eager to move forward with this substitution,” said Assistant City Manager John Dangberg. “It’s just a better deal for the city.”

But Craig Powell with the watchdog group Eye on Sacramento says the city may be leaving money on the table.

“This is the single largest aggregate land transfer in the history of the city,” Powell said, “but they are not spending the money to get appraisers to ensure the taxpayers that they are being treated fairly in this deal.”

With a proper appraisal on all eight plots, he claims the city could make a great deal more on the sales.

“Sell the land and write the developers or Kings owners the check,” he said. “That way we have some kind of certainty with the subsidy.”

But just because you ask certain price for the land, that doesn’t mean it will sell for that.

“We preferred this year to have the Kings take the risk in selling the land,” Dangberg said.

Once the Kings owners take control of the properties, they will begin to pay property taxes and eventually sales tax once they’re developed. Currently, the land is under city control, which means no money is coming in.

 

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