New Hampshire commission meets to discuss selling state assets
CONCORD, New Hampshire: A commission created by the New Hampshire Legislature met on August 4 to discuss of selling state assets. The goal of the commission is to identify possible property for sale or lease that would result in $60 million to help close the current budget gap of $295 million. They are also exploring the possibility of privatizing some state programs.
Several states have already experimented with selling property to deal with budget crises. Arizona has had perhaps the most successful program, which has raised about $1 billion. One program in Florida, which did not pass, would have had the state selling ad space on license plates.
The New Hampshire commission has already run into a number of problems. Among these is the fact that, while there is a list of all state owned properties, they are only listed with their original value assigned, not current market value. Thus, for example, a historic site in Boscawen, erected in 1874, is still listed at $5. The final report of the commission is due by January 1, 2011, when the new legislature will be sworn in.