U.S. Tax Court Addresses Conservation Easement Valuation
Conservation Easement Valuation & The U.S. Tax Court On October 17, 2022, the United States Tax Court rendered a forty-three (43) page opinion in Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC, Riverwood Land, LLC Tax Matters Partner v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (hereafter “Champions Retreat”) that established the valuation for the conservation easement that was donated in... Read More
SCOTUS Locks Crosshairs on Key Property Rights Issue
Although our blog primarily focuses on eminent domain related issues in the courts, our ears perk up whenever the High Court decides to clarify a significant property rights issue. In Wilkins v. United States, No. 21-1164, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument on November 30, 2022, regarding the following question presented: Two Montana... Read More
Was Eminent Domain “Made in America”? Upstate NY Residents Soon To Find Out
Nearly 20 years after the United States Supreme Court issued its controversial opinion in Kelo v. City of New London, an economic development project near Syracuse, New York has residents wondering whether their homes and businesses will be taken by eminent domain in order that a computer chip factory can be built by Micron, one... Read More
Trenton Mayor vs. City Council: Who Controls the Creation of a Redevelopment Agency?
In Mercer County, there is a lawsuit heating up between the Trenton City Council and Mayor Reed Gusciora over the creation of a new redevelopment agency. The City Council kicked off the lawsuit in April 2022 with a Verified Complaint and Order to Show Cause. The Order to Show Cause sought to preliminarily restrain the... Read More
Court Grants Tax Exemption To Nonprofit Property
In a recent published Tax Court opinion by Judge Vito Bianco, J.T.C., the Court considered the exemption status of a property owned by nonprofit organization, Options Imagined (“Options”). Options had filed for exemption from property tax assessment of its property to the Morris County Tax Board which denied the application. Options appealed the decision to... Read More
Texas Court Rules that Property Owners May Sue Army Corps for Flood Damages
A Texas Court recently awarded six “upstream” property owners affected by flooding during Hurricane Harvey (August 2017) $550,000. See Landmark Research summary 2022-11-8 Compensation for Army Corps Flooding – Hurricane Harvey. During Hurricane Harvey, the Addicks and Barker Flood Reservoirs created by the Army Corps of Engineers filled with water and caused widespread damage to... Read More
All Rise for the Jury!
A year and a half ago I blogged about trials in the age of COVID/sars (here). I’m happy to report that we’re now back in person and I was lucky enough to spend last week at the historic Brennan Courthouse (interior rotunda pictured above) with a Hudson County jury. There is nothing in the world... Read More
Valuing Contaminated Property in a Condemnation Case
Regarding the intersection of eminent domain and environmentally contaminated property, the New Jersey Supreme Court made the following observation: In general, eminent domain springs from two separate legal doctrines. The right of the State to take private property for the public good arises out of the necessity of government, whereas the obligation to make “just”... Read More
Court Declines to Invalidate Statute Prohibiting Third-Party Appeals in Tax Court
On September 28, 2022, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Mercer Vicinage, rendered a thirteen (13) page unpublished opinion in New Jersey Citizen Action, et al. v. State of New Jersey et al. that addressed the constitutionality of a recent change to the property tax appeal statute that removed third-party appeals of local property tax... Read More
A CHANGE TO THE (SENIOR) FREEZE IS COMING!
Changes may be on the horizon for the New Jersey’s Senior Freeze program. The Senior Freeze program helps eligible New Jerseyans lower their property taxes by reimbursing property tax payments increases and “freezes” the property tax rate for eligible homeowners and mobile home park site fees. This is particularly helpful for senior residents living on... Read More