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Sam owns an acre of land on Red River. The government dams

Resolved Question:

Sam owns an acre of land on Red River. The government dams the river. A lake forms behind the dam, covering Sam's land. Does the government owe Sam anything?

If so, what? If not, why?
200 words
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Short Essay (2 pages or less)
Expert:  TeachHelp replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Here is your response! Bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you!

The government will owe Sam something for the loss of value of his land. When the government takes private property for public use, this is called eminent domain. This is a valid exercise of the governments rights, however, the Fifth Amendment does protect private property owners under its “taking clause”, which states that “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Essentially, this provides that the government has to provide compensation for the property that they take under eminent domain. One of the more recent cases decided by the Supreme Court in this area is Kelo v. City of New London, 549 U.S. 469 (2005). In this case, the Supreme Court went as far as to say that property could be taken from an individual property owner, and then sold to a private developer. The government benefit or public use was the higher tax rate that the government would obtain from the land that was then economically developed. While Sam will be required to receive “just compensation” for the loss of value of the land, the compensation that is provided in most cases is fair market value, which may or may not actually compensate Sam for the losses he sustained, depending on how he was actually using the land, whether he was deriving income from it, etc.



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