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California analyst: Sandoval-style building sale “poor fiscal policy”

A proposal by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sell state buildings to private investors and lease them back has been called "bad budgeting practice" and "poor fiscal policy," by California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Los Angeles Times reports.

That’s bad news for Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, who proposed a similar idea to help balance Nevada’s budget.

Sandoval’s version of the idea was presented in February before a special session of the legislature by Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, as a way to raise as much as $250 million toward balancing the state budget. Raggio credited Sandoval at the time. 

Gov. Jim Gibbons, who is trailing Sandoval in polls of Republican primary voters, criticized the idea when Raggio first suggested it, prompting a defense of such a plan from Sandoval.

Raggio cited similar proposals Arizona, which reportedly raised $735 million, and California, which hoped to raise as much as $2 billion.

A Nevada version never went into effect during the special session, although Sandoval has mentioned it on the campaign trail as a potential source of revenue.

On Tuesday analysts in California said such a plan could wind up costing that state as much as $200 million annually in the long run.

Reported the Times: "The state’s plan to make some quick cash by selling office buildings and other properties and leasing them back would cost taxpayers a bundle over the long haul, according to a new state report."

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