Be sure to check out ways to improve your waters courtesy of the Summer issue of The Magazine of the American Landowner. Mike Sprague at Trout Headwaters shares a variety of different ways to use water to add beauty – and value – to your property, and many of the improvements he suggests are low cost or no cost. Read more HERE.
July 1, 2012 by Land Report Editors
Filed under Agriculture, Auctions, Back Issues, Cattle, Conservation, Dogs, Energy, Equities, Farming, Federal Policy, Great Lakes, Great Plains, International, Midwest, Minerals, Northeast, Pacific, Public Land, Recreation, Residential Property, South, Southwest, Taxes, West
Did you know that the Supreme Court just issued a landmark ruling? I’m not talking about health care. I’m talking about land. That’s right, the high court came down 9-0 for landowners in a suit that was brought against the EPA by Idaho’s Sackett family.
We’ve been following Sackett v. EPA for over a year. It’s one of the many eye-opening stories you’ll enjoy in the Summer 2012 issue of The Land Report, now on newsstands from coast to coast.
You can access the digital edition free of charge HERE.
Our summer issue also features the story of an innovative gift to the University of Wyoming, one that kicks in when Wyoming’s River Bend Ranch sells. It’s a great example of stewardship, one that Greg Fay brought to us and that we are proud to share. Learn five great ways to add value and beauty to your land by improving your waters. And be sure to have a look at our third annual roundup of the nation’s leading auction houses. No surprise here … farmland prices continue to best record highs.
So be our guest and enjoy our latest issue HERE.
For more up to the minute reports on listings, auctions, sales, and breaking news pertaining to land and landowners, be sure to follow The Magazine of the American Landowner on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
P.S. Our award-winning quarterly magazine is available in a print version via subscription.
Several funding entities, including Beaufort County and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have pooled resources to acquire several key conservation easements on St. Helena Island as well as outright ownership of 19 acres on Hilton Head. According to news releases, these acquisitions will keep these lands from being turned into developments that would include some 300+ homes. In addition, the three easements allow the current property owners to continue farming the historic Beaufort County lands. More details of the transaction are available HERE.
Four years after the Supreme Court handed down Kelo vs. New London, eminent domain reform continues. Earlier this month, the Texas Senate passed an amendment that would make it harder for the government to seize land from private landowners via eminent domain.
The foundation of Senate Bill 18 is the provision that private land can not be seized and then redistributed for private use. The bill also calls for good faith negotiations and fair compensation. The amendment passed the Senate on a 31-0 unanimous vote and is now before the House, which is considering a separate amendment. If approved by the House, it would go before Texas voters in November.
Also in the bill are several procedural definitions that call for transparency and accountability in the process.
The language is as follows:
- Spells out objective criteria for courts to follow to determine good faith negotiations. Requires condemning entities to follow those criteria, or risk paying attorney fees and court costs for the landowner.
- Creates a “Truth in Condemnation Procedures Act,” which requires a bona fide offer in writing.
- Requires any condemnation procedure to be done in public and by a record vote.
- Allows a property owner or their heirs to repurchase condemned property, at the original price paid for the property, if it is not utilized for public use after a 10-year period.
- Requires all condemning entities to register with the state Comptroller. This will give the state a handle on how many and the kinds of entities having eminent domain power.
- All of these provisions apply to all entities, not just governmental entities.
A University of Florida study has put a staggering number on just how badly the economic crisis has impacted rural land values in the Sunshine State. The study concludes that land values plummeted upwards of 55 percent in 2008 from highs just one year previously.
The study focused exclusively on rural land, mostly those outside of urban areas that would have been hot spots for development just prior to the worldwide economic collapse.
“In some cases, it’s almost like a fire sale,” said Rodney Clouser, the UF professor of food and resource economics who led the survey.
The study found the northern part of the state most affected with values dropping the aforementioned 55 percent.
Farmland, that which traditionally would be the main focus of The Land Report readers, saw declines that reached as much as 26 percent.
What’s worse is the predicted continued decline in 2009.
Land prices are expected to continue their drop through 2009 — although not as dramatically as in 2008. Survey responses from individuals involved in the Florida real estate market predict an overall drop between 5 and 17 percent.
The full UF report is available here.
As the New Year gets under way, elected officials are considering curbing or rolling back property taxes in numerous states from coast to coast. That’s good news for landowners, homeowners, and real estate investors whose properties are easy pickings for cash-strapped local governments because property taxes are one of the few revenue sources controlled at local levels. Read more
Voters in Florida overwhelmingly approved Amendment 4, The Florida Conservation Land Amendment, a measure that will lower property taxes on lands set aside for conservation. Amendment 4, which was supported by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, was approved by 68.4 percent of Florida voters. A 60 percent majority was required. Read more
Last week we took note of the great disparity in property tax rates from state to state with New Jersey levying an astounding $2,642 per citizen on the high end and Alabama charging its citizens an average of $477 by comparison. Now Investor’s Business Daily has taken that discussion a step further and singled out the rise in the number of property owners appealing their tax assessements. Read more
Alabamans pay on average just $477 per person in property and real taxes. That’s one of the many conclusions of this 64-page background paper from the Washington-based Tax Foundation that was released earlier this month. But you already knew that because you read this post at LandReport.com on Alabama’s low tax rates several months ago. Guess which state finished at the bottom of the list?
If you’re a registered voter in Florida and a landowner as well, there is an important amendment on this November’s ballot you need to be aware of. Amendment 4 could significantly reduce your tax liability, provided you set aside your land for conservation purposes. Read more