Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lease without auction?: Proposition 105

Proposition 105: State Trust Land

Buried in this heap of minor changes to the language of Article 10 of the AZ Constitution is a benign provision for posting of auction notices on the state Web site and provisions which would, among other things allow trust lands to be leased without auction, convey land to counties for rights-of-way without advertisement or auction, and set aside 400,000 acres for conservation.

Although a conservationist at heart, I cannot see the wisdom of restricting the use of further trust land given that its sale or lease is supposed to take some of the burden off of the taxpayers of the state in funding, e.g. the public schools. 105 compensates the trust, but it's at the expense of the taxpayer.

Additionally, the lease-without-auction clause undermines--but unlike 106, doesn't overturn completely--the requirement in the state constitution that the full value be sought for trust land, and is an invitation for cronyism and abuse.

I would support a bill setting aside land for sale--at full value--to private conservation trusts like the Nature Conservancy; I oppose this amendment.

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