Used to be selling your land to the government was a break-even proposition — you got what the government valued it at, or else. But the Austin City Council is much more progressive than that since, after all, it’s not their money. In looking to build a new water treatment plant (not exactly a tourist attraction), the city found land that they valued at $28 million. The owners said it was worth $39 million. The land was on the tax rolls for $5.8 million. So, of course, taxpayers are coughing up $32 million.

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