Land Exchange:

New Appraisals of Interior's Collier Proposal Would Not Resolve Issues

GGD-88-85: Published: May 11, 1988. Publicly Released: May 11, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of the Interior's proposed exchange of the Phoenix Indian School site in Arizona for land in southern Florida to determine whether Interior's real estate appraisals were reasonable and reliable.

GAO found that: (1) Interior's appraisals for three of the four proposed Florida tracts generally met professional and government standards; (2) overvalued the other tract by an estimated $3 million to $4 million; (3) Interior's appraisals of the Phoenix Indian School site generally met professional standards, but they differed in their estimates of development density and land value; (4) the school's appraised fair market value did not provide a basis to proceed with the proposed exchange; and (5) Interior's tentative contract allowing the Florida property owners 3 years to accept the exchange should recognize the possibility of future increases in the value of the land.

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