Eminent Domain and ‘Fair Market Value’
Jim Henley argues, in defense of the position that ascertaining “fair market value” to a person forced to sell their property by the state,
[A]s a matter of justice the victim of a forced sale is entitled to an inconvenience premium. My house is “worth” a certain amount of money. But it’s not currently worth it to the Henley family to move for that price. If it were, we’d have the house on the market right now. The victims of eminent domain, abusive or otherwise, are people who have already made a decision, by default or direction, not to sell their property.
Quite so. I would argue, to, in light of Kelo, that the amount of said premium is variable based on the public purpose claimed. A lone holdout should not be allowed to hold society hostage when it needs to provide a public good like a road. On the other hand, a strip mall developer should certainly pay through the nose for the privilege of forcing someone off his land.
Of course, I think Kelo is immoral and plainly unconstitutional, but that’s a different post.