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Idaho State Lawmakers Question Land Swap

flickr.com, glenngould

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — 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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