Gibbons fires back at Raggio lease plan | NevadaAppeal.com

Gibbons fires back at Raggio lease plan

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Gov. Jim Gibbons on Friday criticized the plan to lease state buildings to private investors.

The plan was presented Thursday at the Interim Finance Committee by Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno. Raggio said rights to run state buildings could be auctioned, raising as much as $250 million to reduce the budget shortfall.

The state would then pay that business rent for the term of the lease to keep its agencies in those offices.

Raggio also criticized parts of the governor’s plan as “ridiculous.”

Gibbons Friday returned the favor, saying the plan, originally proposed by his primary re-election opponent Brian Sandoval, was “an impulsive idea that will cost taxpayers more money in the short term and the long term.”

Gibbons said since the state would pay rent – which staff says would be higher than what those agencies now pay – there would be more costs rather than any savings. And the money from the lease auctions would be spent in just one year.

He called the plan “a short-term solution to a long-term problem with a long-term payment.”