2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Baker (74th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-37-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN A WILLING SELLER AND A WILLING BUYER FROM CERTAIN ACQUISITION REQUIREMENTS INVOLVING PUBLIC FUNDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-37-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-37-3. (1) Any person, agency or other entity acquiring real property for any project or program in which public funds are used shall comply with the following policies:
(a) Every reasonable effort shall be made to acquire expeditiously real property by negotiation.
(b) Real property shall be appraised before the initiation of negotiations, except that the acquiring person, agency or other entity may adopt a procedure in compliance with federal regulations to waive the appraisal in cases involving the acquisition by sale or donation of property with a low fair market value. For the purposes of this chapter, property with a low fair market value is property with a fair market value of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) or less. The owner or his designated representative shall be given an opportunity to accompany the appraiser during his inspection of the property.
(c) Before the initiation of negotiations for real property, an amount shall be established which it is reasonably believed is just compensation therefor and such amount shall be offered for the property. In no event shall such amount be less than the approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property. Any decrease or increase in the fair market value of real property prior to the date of valuation caused by the public improvement for which such property is acquired or by the likelihood that the property would be acquired for such improvement, other than that due to physical deterioration within the reasonable control of the owner, will be disregarded in determining the compensation for the property. The owner of the real property to be acquired shall be provided with a written statement of, and summary of the basis for, the amount established as just compensation. Where appropriate the just compensation for the real property acquired and for damages to remaining real property shall be separately stated.
(d) No owner shall be required to surrender possession of real property before the agreed purchase price is paid or there is deposited with the state court, in accordance with applicable law, for the benefit of the owner an amount not less than the approved appraisal of the fair market value of such property, or the amount of the award of compensation in the condemnation proceeding of such property.
(e) The construction or development of a public improvement shall be so scheduled that, to the greatest extent practicable, no person lawfully occupying real property shall be required to move from a dwelling (assuming a replacement dwelling will be available) or to move his business or farm operation without at least ninety (90) days' written notice from the date by which such move is required.
(f) If an owner or tenant is permitted to occupy the real property acquired on a rental basis for a short term or for a period subject to termination by the acquiring authority on short notice, the amount of rent required shall not exceed the fair rental value of the property to a short-term occupier.
(g) In no event shall the time of condemnation be advanced, or negotiations or condemnation and the deposit of funds in court for the use of the owner be deferred, or any other coercive action be taken to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.
(h) If an interest in real property is to be acquired by exercise of power of eminent domain, formal condemnation proceedings shall be instituted. The acquiring authority shall not intentionally make it necessary for an owner to institute legal proceedings to prove the fact of the taking of his real property.
(i) If the acquisition of only part of the property would leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant, an offer to acquire that remnant shall be made. For the purposes of this chapter, an uneconomic remnant is a parcel of real property in which the owner is left with an interest after the partial acquisition of the owner's property and which the person, agency or other entity acquiring the property determines has little or no value or utility to the owner.
(j) A person whose real property is being acquired in accordance with this chapter may, after the person has been fully informed of his right to receive just compensation for such property, donate such property, any part thereof, any interest therein or any compensation paid therefor to the person, agency or other entity acquiring the property in such manner as he so determines.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to transactions between a willing seller and a willing buyer.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.