2000 Legislation
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HOUSE BILL NO. 525 – Eminent domain, damages, assessment


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Daily Data Tracking History

H0525.........................................by TRANSPORTATION AND DEFENSE
EMINENT DOMAIN - Amends existing law relating to eminent domain proceedings
to revise the formula and procedure for assessment of damages when the
damages are to any established business of more than five years' standing.
02/07    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/08    Rpt prt - to Transp

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-fifth Legislature                  Second Regular Session - 2000
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 525
  1                                        AN ACT
  6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  7        SECTION  1.  That  Section  7-711,  Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  8    amended to read as follows:
  9        7-711.  ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES. The court, jury or referee  must hear  such
 10    legal  testimony  as  may be offered by any of the parties to the proceedings,
 11    and thereupon must ascertain and assess:
 12        1.  The value of the property sought to be condemned, and all improvements
 13    thereon pertaining to the realty, and of each and  every  separate  estate  or
 14    interest  therein; if it consists of different parcels, the value of each par-
 15    cel and each estate or interest therein shall be separately assessed. For pur-
 16    poses of ascertaining the value of the property, the assessed value for  prop-
 17    erty  tax  purposes shall be used as the minimum amount for damages unless the
 18    court, jury or referee finds the property has been altered substantially.
 19        2.  If the property sought to be condemned constitutes only a  part  of  a
 20    larger parcel,: (a) the damages which will accrue to the portion not sought to
 21    be  condemned,  by  reason of its severance from the portion sought to be con-
 22    demned, and the construction of the improvement in the manner proposed by  the
 23    plaintiff;  and  (b) the damages to any established business of more than five
 24    (5) years' standing which the taking of a portion of the property and the con-
 25    struction of the improvement in the manner proposed by the plaintiff may  rea-
 26    sonably  cause, where the business is owned by the party whose lands are being
 27    condemned or is located upon adjoining lands owned or held by such party; pro-
 28    vided that business damages under this subsection shall not be awarded if  the
 29    loss  can reasonably be prevented by a relocation of the business or by taking
 30    steps that a reasonably prudent person would take; and provided  further  that
 31    compensation  for business damages shall not be duplicated in the compensation
 32    otherwise awarded to the property owner.
 33        If the owner intends to claim business damages under this subsection,  the
 34    business  owner  must, within ninety (90) days after receipt of the condemning
 35    agency's initial offer letter to acquire property, or after the date the  let-
 36    ter  is  returned as undeliverable by the postal authorities, or within ninety
 37    (90) days after service of the summons and complaint for condemnation,  which-
 38    ever  date  is  later,  submit  to the condemning authority a written claim of
 39    business damage. The written claim must be sent to the condemning authority by
 40    certified mail, return receipt requested. Absent a showing  of  a  good  faith
 41    justification  for the failure to submit a business damage claim within ninety
 42    (90) days, or an agreed extension by the parties, the court shall  strike  the
 43    business owner's claim for business damages in any condemnation proceeding.
  1        The  business  damage  claim  must  include  an explanation of the nature,
  2    extent, and monetary amount of such claimed damages and must  be  prepared  by
  3    the owner, a certified public accountant, or a business damage expert familiar
  4    with  the nature of the operations of the owner's business. The business owner
  5    shall also provide to the condemning authority copies of the owner's  business
  6    records  that  substantiate the good faith offer to settle the business damage
  7    claim.
  8        As used in this subsection, the term "business records" includes,  but  is
  9    not  limited  to,  copies of federal and state income tax returns, state sales
 10    tax returns, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements for the  five  (5)
 11    years  preceding which are attributable to the business operation on the prop-
 12    erty to be acquired, and other records relied upon by the business owner  that
 13    substantiate the business damage claim.
 14        3.  Separately,  how much the portion not sought to be condemned, and each
 15    estate or interest therein, will be specially and directly  benefited,  if  at
 16    all,  by the construction of the improvement proposed by the plaintiff; and if
 17    the benefit shall be equal to the damages assessed, under paragraph 2. of this
 18    section, the owner of the parcel shall be allowed no compensation  except  the
 19    value  of the portion taken; but if the benefit shall be less than the damages
 20    so assessed, the former shall be deducted from the latter, and  the  remainder
 21    shall be the only damages allowed in addition to the value.
 22        4.  If  the property sought to be condemned be for a railroad, the cost of
 23    good and sufficient fences along the line of such railroad, and  the  cost  of
 24    cattle guards where fences may cross the line of such railroad.
 25        5.  As  far  as practicable, compensation must be assessed for each source
 26    of damages separately.
 27        6.  If the property sought to be condemned is private real property activ-
 28    ely devoted to agriculture, the damages  which  will  accrue  because  of  the
 29    costs, if any, of farming around electrical transmission line structure(s) for
 30    a  transmission  line with a capacity in excess of two hundred thirty (230) KV
 31    (kilovolts). If the property sought to be condemned has been the subject of  a
 32    previous  condemnation  proceeding  or proceedings for electrical transmission
 33    line structure(s) and at the time of condemnation the field holds other  elec-
 34    trical  transmission  line  structure(s),  such  evidence of costs referred to
 35    above may also include the cumulative effects, if any, of  conducting  farming
 36    operations  around other electrical transmission line structure(s) in the same
 37    field, whether such structure(s) are of the condemner or not.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 
                     RS 09304C2 
     "Just compensation" is a constitutional requirement in the event of a taking under eminent domain
     condemnation law. The question of how "just" the compensation may be is established, in part,
     through statute. 
          This proposed legislation would expand consideration of "just compensation" in eminent
     domain condemnations to damages to businesses of more than five years standing which are
     located upon or adjacent to a property taking, and the improvements thereon, as proposed by the
     relevant governmental entity. 
          The proposed legislation would apply to all condemnation actions commenced by an
     initial offer letter served upon the property owner on and after the effective date of this legislation. 
                    FISCAL IMPACT 
          An expansion of damage consideration to both property and a business attached to that
     property would result in additional costs to governmental entities that exercise eminent domain
     powers. A property owner who is both an owner of property and an owner of a business attached
     to the property could receive "just compensation" for both the loss of property and demonstrated
     financial loss to the business attached to that property. In the event of disagreement between the
     governmental entity and the effected property owner, "just compensation" is determined by a
     court, jury, or referee in accordance with Section 7-711, Idaho 
          Just compensation determinations will vary based on the size and effect of the
     condemnation action.  The Idaho Transportation Department has estimated a possible impact of
     $1.25 million (in state dollars) statewide per year.  If so, that amount is also the additional cost we
     are asking select property owners to bear above, and separate from, the costs of highway
     development that all Idaho transportation users share throughout the existing transportation tax
               Name:     Representative Jim Kempton
     Phone: 208/332-1146
                                                  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE             H525