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State's land deal seen as very unusual (Jeb Bush & St. Joe Co.)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 09:07 AM
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State's land deal seen as very unusual (Jeb Bush & St. Joe Co.)
State's land deal seen as very unusual

BY GARY FINEOUT
Spetember 25, 2006


At a time when Florida's largest private landowner is laying off employees, the state is proposing to buy land from the politically connected company for current and future road projects.


TALLAHASSEE - In a deal that even state transportation officials call ''unique,'' Florida may spend $46 million to buy land for current and future road projects -- some of which are no more than a line on a map -- from a company that has had close ties to Gov. Jeb Bush's administration and for which the state doesn't yet have an appraisal.

The roughly 4,000 acres of land the state is proposing to buy is owned by a single landowner -- The St. Joe Co., the state's largest private land owner, which recently announced that it was laying off one-tenth of its workforce and was getting out of the homebuilding business in Florida.

St. Joe has long-running ties with the governor's administration, and one of Bush's former top aides is a vice president of the company. At one point, St. Joe owned a 50 percent stake in the company run by Armando Codina, who was Bush's business partner before Bush became governor.

A panel of lawmakers will vote on the deal Tuesday because the state Department of Transportation's account for land-buying doesn't have enough money in it. The $46 million would come out of another state account collected from gasoline taxes and rental-car surcharges and would eventually be paid back from bonds.

But Tuesday's vote by the Legislative Budget Commission will come before the state has completed an independent appraisal on the property, which stretches across 10 North Florida counties.

snip


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uberblonde Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 09:10 AM
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1. How nice.
Florida already has the largest rental-car taxes I've ever seen. The last time I rented a car there (at $25 a day), the taxes brought it up to more than $500 for a week!

Nice to know it's going to such a good cause...
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habitual Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 09:11 AM
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2. Hey Floridians, pull down your trousers and bend over...
it's that time.....
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 09:32 AM
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3. How many times are they going to rape the same piece of land?
Edited on Mon Sep-25-06 09:32 AM by DoYouEverWonder
Now no one wants to buy into their gated communities in the middle of nowhere? Oh boo-hoo.

Why am I not surprised to see former drug money launderer, Armando Codina in the middle of this one.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 09:37 AM
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4. Jeb's time is running out. Time to finish the big heist for his buddies.
The appraisal is due to be finished Saturday. Internal documents sent by the DOT to legislative staff members says the contract with St. Joe is ''contingent'' on the appraisal supporting the $46 million request.

Those same documents, obtained by The Miami Herald, show that state transportation officials concede that some of the land may not be the ''exact property'' needed in the future because the state hasn't even done preliminary studies on some of the road projects.

DOT officials insist, however, that the transaction would save taxpayers money because it is cheaper to buy the property now than go through a complicated acquisition process in the future, which could wind up in court.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-25-06 11:03 AM
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5. Carl Hiaason will never run out of material.
Questionable land deals, crooked politicians, scumbag businessmen--& abuse of the environment.

At least Hiaason's books are funny....
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