The state could sell as many as 32 of its properties to help cover a $3 billion shortfall.
Matt York/ AP/ File
A state park with a spectacular limestone cave. A retirement home built in territorial days. Even state Capitol buildings in which laws have been crafted for a half century.
Piece by piece, Arizona is planning to sell off as many as 32 state properties to cover a historic $3 billion budget deficit. The state is in good company: California, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut are unloading state holdings, too.
It is an indicator both of the depth of the fiscal crisis facing states and the extraordinary lengths to which they will go to try to avoid steep tax increases.
In Arizona, the sales could put between $350 million and $700 million into state coffers this year – but it’s a quick fix. The state would pay between $60 million and $70 million to lease back many of the properties, meaning the transactions will cost taxpayers more in the long run.
What's on the auction block
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill that approves the sale of state buildings on Sept. 3. Now, the state is deciding what to sell.
Properties around the state that may be sold and leased back include the House and Senate buildings, the Arizona State Hospital, the Arizona Pioneers’ Home retirement facility (built a year before Arizona gained statehood in 1912), and Kartchner Caverns State Park.