No one seems to know exactly how much the state is paying CSX and for what in the rail realignment deal. It all depends on how you define it. But figures I’ve heard range from $491 million to almost $700 million. All of those numbers are bound up in one way or another with the value of the 61 miles of land and track the state plans to buy from CSX. That value was tabulated in 2005 or 2006 as the secret negotiations unfolded.
So let me ask you: Is your house worth as much now as it was in late 2005?
Maybe our friend Jane Healy, late of the Orlando Sentinel editorial page, can explain to us why state taxpayers, at the bottom of a historically severe recession, should pay CSX based on boomtime 2005-06 land values. Jane?