Oregon Land Board Low-Balls Elliott Timber at $220.8 Million
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John A. Charles, Jr.
PORTLAND, Ore. – Today the Oregon Department of State Lands announced the “fair market value” of 82,000 acres of Common School Trust Lands within the Elliott State Forest as $220.8 million.
The number was picked by Roger Lord of the consulting firm Mason, Bruce & Girard after analyzing three professional appraisals which valued the land at $262 million, $225 million, and $190 million, respectively.
All proposed “Elliott Acquisition Plans” are due to the Department of State Lands by 5:00 p.m. November 15, 2016. If there are multiple plans accepted, the Oregon Land Board will choose the winning offer at its December meeting. Proceeds from the land transfer will go to the Common School Fund and be invested for the long-term benefit of public school students.
At a public meeting held in Salem, the Director of the Department, Jim Paul, reiterated that anyone hoping to acquire the 82,000 acres must offer exactly $220.8 million. Any offer above that will be considered “outside the protocol” and deemed “non-responsive.”
Today’s announcement was the latest step in the Land Board’s plan to dispose of the Elliott property in a non-competitive bid process. This prompted Cascade Policy Institute President John A. Charles, Jr. to make the following statement:
“The Land Board has invented a ‘fair market’ value of the Elliott timberland without allowing a market to actually function. The price investors are willing to pay might be the $262 million appraisal, or it could be multiples of that number. Unfortunately, we’ll never know because the Land Board is refusing to take competitive bids. Clearly this is a breach of fiduciary trust. Public school students, teachers and parents deserve to get top dollar in this once-in-a-lifetime sale of a public asset.”
Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity. For more information, visit cascadepolicy.org.