Buddhist Temple Charging Millions for Use of School Field|操場租來的! 通霄國中年付418萬租金

The sports field at Miaoli County's Tongsiao Junior High School is privately rather than publicly owned land and the county has to pay NT$ 4.18 million to the owner in rent every year. The rental agreement started 24 years ago. The National Audit Office says this does not meet economic benefit and campus sustainable development standards and censured the Miaoli County Government last year. However, the county government says it would have to pay NT$ 230 million to buy the land, which is a heavy financial burden for the county.

The teacher takes roll call on the field. Unlike other schools, Tongsiao Junior High School does not own its sports field. Two-thirds of the field is privately owned land and the county's Department of Education pays the owner NT$4.18 million in rent every year.

Part of the school's field, around 7,000 square meters, is leased. The rent amount is based on the publicly announced land price, so the county government has to allocate this amount to pay the rent every year.

School officials say the original owner let the school use the field for free, but he donated the land to a Buddhist temple 24 years ago. The temple wouldn't let the school use the field for free and demanded rent. The National Audit Office says the county could have purchased the land by now with the accumulated rent it has paid over the years, and censured the county last year for failing to meet economic benefit criteria.

For the last few years, the county government has been trying to negotiate with the landowner about buying the land. At present time, the owner is not interested in negotiating or selling the land.

The county says if the landowner refuses to sell the land, it will be expropriated. Under relevant laws, the county would have to pay fair market value, which is estimated at around NT$ 230 million. The county says this is a gargantuan sum and it is trying to come up with ways to raise the amount. In the meantime, it will continue leasing the land from the temple.
通霄國中校長 羅士侃表示:「學校操場的部分都是租用的,這個範圍大概是7千多平方公尺,我們是按照公告地價的,承租金額來做承租,所以每年縣府就要編預算來付這個租金。」
苗栗縣教育處國教科科長 林采香表示:「我們縣府呢!在這幾年當中,都陸陸續續有跟地主談到,協議價購他那塊地的意願,那目前來說的話,那位地主是沒有意願,把那個地,就是跟我們協議價購。」