Is Harrison County Utility Authority cheating land owners?

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According to the report below, land appraisals by the Harrison County Utility Authority have been way below fair market value in at least a number of cases. And unless the land owners went to court to challenge the appraisal, they wouldn’t even know.

If a government entity needs your land for an important public use, such as a water or sewer line, or even a new road, but you don’t want to sell, it can use a process called eminent domain to get the land. But you have to be justly compensated for it. That’s in the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the report below, land appraisals by the Harrison County utility authority have been way below fair market value in at least a number of cases. And unless the land owners hired a lawyer to challenge the appraisal, they wouldn’t even know:

“Attorney Gary White says he sees a disturbing pattern. ‘What bothers me is … if these clients that I represented, accepted these original offers from the Utility Authority, they would have lost substantial money. I think the Utility Authority has handled hundreds of these cases and probably the majority of them were settled without a lawyer getting involved. I have to wonder … how much money people have lost by not challenging them?'”

Disturbing indeed.

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