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Idaho lands agency critics blast 2012 swap

Published On: Sep 16 2013 07:38:45 PM CDT
BOISE, Idaho -

Two lawmakers who have so far sought unsuccessfully to halt the Department of Lands' expansion into commercial real estate are again criticizing the agency, this time over a 2012 property swap they contend wasn't to Idaho's advantage.

Last year, the Department of Lands swapped state endowment land on Payette Lake in McCall for privately-owned Idaho Falls commercial property.

Idaho's assessor concluded each property was worth about $6.1 million.

Now, however, a group including Reps. Grant Burgoyne of Boise and John VanderWoude of Nampa say the Idaho Falls property was worth just $4.5 million, meaning Idaho was shorted $1.6 million.

Burgoyne and VanderWoude have long been Department of Land critics, contending its expansion into properties including a Boise self-storage business puts the state inappropriately in direct competition with the private sector.

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