Juries decide on what compensation people should get and typically seems to be sympathetic to people who lose their land, but on the other hand they are all taxpayers and money for eminent domain seizures comes from taxation
Land has to be valued on the basis for which it was zoned for (Eden Memorial Park)
Courts can use any fair and nondiscriminatory method of valuation in order to allow flexibility w/ different types of property (Merrick)
If you aren’t satisfied with what the administrative agency has done in assessing your taxes you can appeal administrative agency receives substantial level of deference from courts because: (Riley)
4. There are reasons to think the agencies are actually trying to be fair
United States v. Eden Memorial Park Ass’n (1965) – Court does not allow the 6.5 acres un-zoned for cemetery purposes to be valued for cemetery purposes, since the landowner was aware of future use for highway purposes
Tigar v. Mystic River Bridge Authority (1952) – Tigar has 2 tracts of land he plans to develop as a single unit to be used as a refrigeration plant - Government takes one of the tracts of land to build a bridge. Dispute over how much compensation
Lynch v. State Board of Equalization (1985) –Tax collectors don’t want Proposition 13 (which limits tax increases) to apply to oil wells since their value has greatly increased. Oil well owners argue that proposition 13 applies with its full force = oil wells are to be valued at their 1975 value, and since they never get sold and never new construction, except they want to subtract every year for the amount of oil that has been taken out of the ground. Court rejects this = in 10 years most oil wells will be worth zero for tax purposes but in reality will be producing far more oil at a higher value because prices have gone up
Rule 468 Compromise - Assessment does not change if pump out same amount of oil even if price goes up. But if a price increase results in new proved reserves increases, there is a new assessment on this new oil reserve but old oil amount keeps the same assessment.
These new proved reserves are additions to the property right and should be assessed, yet old reserves assessment are preserved pursuant to Prop 13
Court fashions a compromise between competing valuation methods to satisfy both parties.
Merrick Holding Corp. v. Board of Assessors of County of Nassau (1978) – Merrick built a new shopping centre and to draw in large stores offered them below market value rent then charged all other stores market value.
Court held that the assessor didn’t have to accept the landowner’s estimate of the value of the land as reflected in actual rents = merely had to be fair and nondiscriminatory
This case tells us that if someone makes a bad deal and rents out their property cheap, this does not affect the property value and you have to pay taxes as if you were renting it at market rates
Riley v. District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency (1956/57) – Case deals with just compensation when what would appear to be reliable sales data does not seem fair
Riley will get a less than market rate for her house because the debt burden will be discounted an instruction to the jury on remand
There are circumstances where the government really needs to take property, but it should be made sure that compensation is adequate
Mrs. Riley is clearly poor and when you think about it this way this case is one of the classic cases we should be worried about of a poor person being deprived of their house
Riley bought her house at the high price she did because the market forced her to do so = it is at that market that she should be compensated.