Caltrans..Highway robbery

Yesterday’s OC Register expose of the land acquisitions by Caltrans raises several questions. Let’s start with the initial land acquisition and give them the benefit of the doubt. Specifically, they were led to believe that future highways required the taking of the parcels in question. A number of factors could surely have impacted the decision not to proceed.

The bigger question is the impact on the tax rolls. Once these properties are acquired they are removed from the tax rolls where the assessor resets the valuation to zero. If the land is not to be used right away Caltrans has a responsibility to lease it out for temporary applications such as equipment storage. Did that happen? If so were lease fees collected? Every November Caltrans is responsible to submit 24 percent of these lease revenues to the County where said parcels are located. I understand that it is not happending in Orange County. That is inexcusable.
Our Caltrans representative is the OCTA. They claim to have a partnership with the state transportation authority. Instead of devoting so much time and energy to Measure M perhaps OCTA should have monitored Caltrans on this pot of money.
Larry Gilbert

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