MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

March 1, 2013

Compromise on sale price of property

— Development of the intersection of U.S. 69 and Shawnee Bypass is too vital for the city and county to quibble over the sale price of county property.

The Muskogee Redevelopment Authority has agreed to a $1.1 million loan from the City of Muskogee Foundation to buy six acres at the southwest corner of the intersection.

The city has offered the county $826,596. That is below the appraised value of the property of $1.03 million.

County commissioners are skeptical.

If this were a normal transaction, we would want the county to get top dollar.

But Muskogee county is essentially  negotiating with the city of Muskogee.

Both sides should maintain focus on what retail development of that intersection would do for  both the city and the county.

The city would receive sales tax revenue from any business that is developed there.

The county would receive some sales tax, but also property tax.

There is no positive cash flow coming from undeveloped property.

City and county officials believe developing one corner of one of the busiest intersections in the city will create a domino effect resulting in businesses on every corner.

The yearly income of property and sales tax revenue would more than make up for any low-ball offer the city makes.

The low-ball offer might also give the city a little wiggle room in negotiations with potential buyers.

The city would be able to take a little less than appraised value for the land because it did not pay appraised value to buy it from the county.

The sooner the property is developed, the sooner citizens of both the city and county benefit from the economic development.

If both sides agree to that premise, then why not agree to an equitable split of any proceeds greater than the city’s purchase price?

The city needs to make enough money on the sale to developers to quickly pay back the loan to the City of Muskogee Foundation.

The county gets more than $800,000 from just the initial sale.

The city does not need to make a killing on this sale.

The city needs to make it possible to create sales tax revenue from each corner of the intersection.

The county had decades to get moving on the property.

Compromise.

We all win.

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