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News Brief - March 18, 2005

NEW MEXICO "TAKINGS" BILL

"Takings" legislation was introduced early in 2005 into the New Mexico Legislature by Representative Dona G. Irwin (Dem., Luna County). The Private Property Protection Act (HB 1090) would require compensation for any actual deprivation of use of property, or for any reduction in market value of the property for the uses permitted at the time the owner acquired a title interest.

The remuneration to the property owner is in the form of condemnation and just compensation, or compensation for the reduction in value. In the alternative, government units may rescind the action that caused the diminution of property value, but even then must reimburse the owner for its costs of the action and any economic losses the owner may have experienced during the time the action was in effect. The bill has a four-year statute of limitations and requires binding arbitration upon written demand of the property owner.

On March 4, 2005, the Legislative Finance Committee analysis of the fiscal impact of the bill called the fiscal implications "staggering." The bill has been introduced into previous sessions of the legislature unsuccessfully, but has aroused more interest this year because of the resounding passage of the Oregon Measure 37 referendum for regulatory takings compensation.

For full text of bill, see New Mexico legislative website: www.legis.state.nm.us

- Carol W. LaGrasse

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