Q The community college would like to enter into a long-term ground lease agreement with a private non-profit corporation, with the lessee agreeing to pay all construction costs, ad valorem taxes and maintenance of the building that will be constructed thereon, rather than rent. Is the community college required to collect rent in the form of dollars, and would the college’s right to use part of the building be sufficient to keep this from being an improper donation?

A The board of trustees may take into account the proposed lessee’s payment of all construction costs for the building to be erected on the property, payment of all maintenance and upkeep of the building and property, payment of all real and/or personal property and the college’s right to use a portion of the facility when making its determination as to whether a donation results from the proposed lease agreement. The adequacy of the consideration is a question of fact which must be decided by the board of trustees. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Easterling, January 31, 2020)