The original intent of just compensation was exactly that. A Just-ified compensation for an eminent domain-ed property. This meant that going rate for property in the immediate area was paid. All assets of the property were taken into account. Develop-able and, timber, mineral rights, water rights all accounted for a compensatory asset.
Stated in our Constitution in the 5th Amendment that property shall not be taken without just compensation. It does not anywhere says compensation it states “Just Compensation”. Just compensation is “Fair Market Value” .
In today’s environment of takings the buyer seems to think that fair market value is the lowest price they are willing to pay. This is not “Just”. It also is not ethical or morally right. And in the case of big business should never be allowed to happen. The takings that are happening today are immoral done, unethically done and plain not justified. I have first hand knowledge as to how the non-profit groups do this. They will first enter an agreement usually verbally that they are willing to pay a set amount. In our case we set a price for our property. Then the group enters into an appraisal period to see what the “fair market value” is. This value is based on other sales in the are f equal property asset, in simplistic form. In the case or our property the non-profit had been operating in the area for some time and had appraised several other properties in the area lower than actual value which then lowered our property value. These same properties were base on other non-profit purchases. Get the picture. No timber was taken into account as value on the land. No develop-able property was taken into account. No improvements were taken into account. The value of a potable water creek had no value. River frontage had no value. The barn and house had very little value.
The appraiser that was used just so happened to be a big donor to the non-profit NGO that wanted our land. The same donor hired appraiser had already appraised other properties in the area. These same properties were used to identify comparable properties to identify value. I see this as collusion. It may be, completely legal, to conspire in this manner, but no matter which way you see it, this is still unethical and unfairly using the law to screw the public and TAKE land.