Re your latest critical editorial on the Transportation Corridor Agencies ("Taxpayers Shouldn't Buy Agencies' Big Spending," Aug. 25):
As a developer, former Building Industry Assn. president, and a conservative who has a natural antipathy to big government, I generally do not relish the notion of public agencies acquiring more real estate. But in the toll road agencies' case, I believe the board of directors did the right thing by purchasing an office building in Irvine Spectrum.
Most of 1995-96 has produced a tightening real estate market. The Times itself has reported this. Most experts predict a continued firming of the market in all segments of the Orange County real estate market.
The toll road operations will continue for years to come, and office space is already becoming increasingly expensive. How many ongoing governmental agencies lease their central headquarters?
Finally, The Times owes the TCA and readers of the editorial an important clarification. Paying over assessed value is common, particularly for resale properties. Assessed valuation, in many cases, has nothing to do with appraised value. There are thousands of properties in Orange County with Proposition 13 formula limited assessed values, which would require thousands of dollars more than the assessed values to acquire. And, likewise, appraisals are not always reflective of what a willing seller-willing buyer transaction will produce in the marketplace. Often, real estate brokers have better "comps" than appraisers do!
KARL O. BERGHEER
* The editorial was very interesting.
Of course, as I understand the way the Transportation Corridor Agencies have the bonds set up is there should be no burden to the taxpayers; the users of the toll roads themselves will be paying for all, and there should be no debts for the public. But should the bonds fail for any reason, thanks to some of our politicians, the good old public will have to make the bond payments. No wonder the TCA has money to fritter away.