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A Case Study in Government Stupidity: Cincinnati, OH

The names and pictures of this building and those involved have been changed to protect the identity of the stupid.


We all know the government has a bad habit of spending an ungodly amount of money for no good reason, well here’s an example that would be difficult to make up.

In one of the rougher spots of Cincinnati, Ohio sit three small apartment complexes that total about 20 units. The crime rate in that zip code, according to CLRSearch, is about twice the national average and a burned out building sits three doors down from one of them. Some time back the company I work for was considering purchasing these properties in a joint package for around $200,000, market value lies somewhere around there.

About two years before our considered purchase, the government renovated these buildings in an attempt at urban renewal. So how much did the government spend to update these buildings? Well, for properties worth about $200,000, a private firm might spend $50,000 to get them back in shape. Given the government’s track record, what do you expect? Maybe $100,000 or so?

How about $2,135,862.

Yes, that’s two million one hundred thirty five thousand eight hundred sixty two dollars. Here’s the itemization list:

OK, so $283,000 was for the building and $20,000 was for the land. But that still leaves $1.8 million for a building worth $200,000! I’ll leave out the snide remarks about perhaps the need to spend rationally and fix up the burnt out building next door or something else. But really, what else needs to said?

Photo Credit: (1 and 2)


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