Skip to comments.Question; Whats the approximate value of land owned by US government
Posted on 08/25/2010 8:53:14 AM PDT by big bad easter bunny
If the US government owns most of the land in the US and the average citizens liability for the national debt is around 45k, maybe the government should transfer ownership to citizens and sell a bunch to balance their books.
What do you think the book value of all the land owned by the government is?
The Federal Government owns nearly 650 million acres of land - almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. Federally-owned and managed public lands include National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges.
Figure about $500 to $4000 per acre depending on location.
Less for the deep woods in Alaska.
This is a question I’ve always wondered about, because a lot of it is not used at all, but you cannot trespass on it either, so what’s it worth?.
I have to imagine it in the trillions, but it depends on what’s on it - buildings, lakes, rivers, coast, etc. and what reources there may be - water, minerals, lumber, etc.
Here is a 1986 paper on just the Fed owned mineral and resource rights: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=328688
IOW, not even close to the $45K of debt, as most of the land is in the lower range per acre. The Census reports US population at 307 million as of July 2009.
That’s about 2.3 acres per cap. Net per cap US land value ballpark $1K to $10K.
it is actually worse than that. The government has partnered with corporations and private land owners to purchase different rights from the bundle of rights you get from fee ownership. Rights like access rights, building rights etc. These are called conservation easements. Half of the U.P. in Michigan is under one.
I'd be more open to the government selling land that doesn't have a lot of plant life. However, I'm sure environmentalists will come up with a reason why that is a bad idea as well. Some of them may even have valid points.
I think the government abuses their authority over these lands, but I'm not sure selling them to private individuals is a better solution.
It you transfer the lands to private individuals then the public looses the ability to effect how that land is managed. Government is a bad solution to most problems, but sometimes the alternatives are worse.
I’d say it depends. If the government sells off an individual acre, it could be worth a whole lot. Selling it off all at once in a fire sale would swamp any real estate market and make each acre worth next to nothing... and make comparable acres of real estate, already on the market and financed, worth next to nothing.
I have a question: What land in the U.S. in NOT owned by the govt? You don’t own the land if you have to pay rent (property tax) every year.
It’s already pledged to China.
Based on the paper which says $175 billion, inflation calculation says it’s worth approx $344 billion.
The reason it isn't happening now is political-- there is a fairly strong coalition of very diverse groups which likes the government being a large landowner.
Not all of these groups are green libtards. Even some very conservative groups like the cattleman's association love the idea of public grazing land and fisherman's groups love the idea of having fedgov stock mountain streams with fish hatchlings.
Both functions could be easily privatized with the fees earned from grazing fees and fishing licenses. Or, if the groups can't trust privatization, allowing fedgov to continue to do them on private land.
I think you could pay off the national debt. just by selling off the Presidio in downtown San Francisco right under the Golden Gate bridge.
I would wager that Fed owned mineral and resource rights range over a trillion ++.
His 1996 campaign book "Why Government Doesn't Work" was a blueprint for reducing the federal gov't back down to constitutional levels while protecting those in the system who were too old to build a private retirement fund.
A brilliant book that gives lie to the common but erroneous belief that the fedgov beast can't be reduced back down to a sane, sustainable level.
I’d prefer unrestricted private ownership, but if that isn’t possible, couldn’t lands be sold with some degree of restriction?
I’d rather a landowner go into a transaction knowing up front what can and can’t be done with the property.
In contrast, what we have now is you can buy property thinking you have control, and the government comes along and restricts your rights after you own it.
This moves in the direction I have been postulating for some time. GEOs - Gold Equivilant Ounces(s)
In short, during the census, establish the average land price in each congressional district. This average should include all land sales from acreage to downtown. Then mulitiply the number of acres owned inside of that district by the average price. This creates a virtual dollar value for the land and buildings. Convert this to gold ounces based upon the average spot price of gold during the prior year.
Do this for all congressional districts, add in the actual number of UNENCOMBERED (no loans, etc) of gold ounces, add in the converted precious metal holdings (again unencombered). This will create a final number of GEOs. Congress then is required to vote (can not delegate) the total currency, currency, financial instraments, and other monetary instraments that may be in circulation against that number of GEOs. The Treasury is required to 1) report the number of total currency, currency, financial instraments, and other monetary instraments in current production and adopt either money tightening or printing in such a manner as to bring the money supply into accordance with the GEO to currency ratio.
This valueation remains in effect till next census and the Treasury reports every year on their efforts and progress on implementing the will of Congress. Congress shall have the power to remove and replace the head of the Treasury by majority of both houses if the Treasury is not able to keep the monetary balance within +/- 5% of the GEO target
Wait a minute... there might be legal precedent. Of course! Land-snatching! [grabs a law book]
Hedley Lamarr: Land, land... "Land: see Snatch." [flips back several pages]
Hedley Lamarr: Ah, Haley vs. United States. Haley: 7, United States: nothing. You see, it can be done!
You should start with the Green River Formation and its 800,000,000 and 1,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil! Yes, 1 TRILLION BARRELS!
“...More than 70% of the total oil shale acreage in the Green River Formation, including the richest and thickest oil shale deposits, is under federally owned and managed lands...”