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Farm operations

Average moving expense payments to farms varied, with averages for all payments by each agency being less than $1,000. Under acquisitions by the U.S. Army Engineers, the average resettlement expense payment to farm operators was $175. Coincidentally, this was also the average for payments to farm operators displaced by civil works acquisitions. For Bureau of Reclamation payments, the average of all resettlement expense payments was $810. Payments under the Federal-aid highway program averaged $466. The average size of relocation payments made by various agencies is presented in the next table.

The proportion of farm payments for moving expenses only and the proportion of payments for moving and other relocation expenses varied from program to program. This is apparent from a breakdown of resettlement expense payments by agencies into the two types of payments, as shown in the next table. The great majority of payments under acquisitions of the U.S. Army Engineers were for moving and other resettlement expenses. With but few exceptions, payments under the Federal-aid highway programs were only for moving costs. It appeared that most payments made by the Bureau of Reclamation were for moving and other resettlement expenses.

Resettlement e@pense payments to farms for which data reported

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1 Average payment for the various divisions ranged from $240 to $3,182

• Includes some instances in which payments were for other than moving expenses ihowever, only the moving expense portion of those payments are included here.

8 Includes some instancesi n which payments covered only moving expenses. * With but few exceptions, payments were for moving costs only.

The majority of the relocation payments made to farm operators were below $1,000. This fact is apparent from the averages for all payments presented in the preceding table and from the range in size of payments for selected projects.

For projects selected by the U.S. Army Engineers to present a representative national picture of its payments, some 96 percent of the payments were in the range of $1,000 or less. More than one-half the payments in representative projects selected by the Bureau of Reclamation were in the range of $1,000 or less. Some 86 percent of the payments by the Fish and Wildlife Service were in the range of $1,000 or less. Only rarely did payments to farm operators exceed $3,000. Available data on the range in size of relocation payments to farm operators are presented below.

Distribution of relocation payments to farm operators for selected projects

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Administration

Economies are possible in the manner in which relocation payments are made by acquiring agencies. At the present time, many agencies making moving cost and related payments, particularly to business concerns and farm operators, require displacees to submit detailed, itemized, and documented statements of expenses incurred by the displacees in order to receive relocation expense payments. These detailed statements are frequently difficult to prepare, and they are costly to administer by the acquiring agency and by agencies that must review and audit the records and actions of that agency.

Fixed payment procedures have been used for some time in several programs in order to simplify the processing of relocation payments for residential displacees and for acquiring agencies. Of the 268 local public agencies displacing families and individuals during 1963 from urban renewal areas, some 50 agencies, or about 19 percent, required displacees to prove their actual expenses. Some 16 agencies, or 6 percent, used fixed payment schedules exclusively in making relocation payments to families and individuals. The remaining 202 authorities, or approximately 75 percent, afforded displaced families and individuals the option of accepting fixed payments or of proving their actual expenses.

Of the total of 34,003 families or individuals displaced by urban renewal in 1963, 6,083 were displaced by agencies making relocation payments only on the basis of proven actual expenses; 3,507 were displaced by agencies using only fixed payment schedules; and 24,413 were displaced by agencies permitting displacees the option of choosing either procedure.

Data supplied by the Bureau of Public Roads for 19 of the States that make relocation payments to families or individuals indicates that 7 make payments based on actual expenses only; that 12 make some use of fixed payments schedules; and that 6 of the 12 permit the displacee the option of either procedure.

No fixed payments have been authorized in any of the direct Federal programs. In the federally assisted programs, fixed payments have been authorized only for residential displacees.

L. PURCHASES AND CONDEMNATIONS

Of the 85,160 ownerships acquired per year in the recent past for which information was available, 63,850 were purchased and 19,320 were acquired by the use of some judicial condemnation proceeding, with the remainder, slightly less than 2,000, being administrative takings. The condemnations comprise properties for which proceedings were initiated during the reporting period, and which were either settled, tried, or still pending by the end of the period. Approximately 83 percent of the ownerships acquired for direct Federal programs were purchased and 17 percent were condemned. Approximately 72 percent of the ownerships acquired under federally assisted programs were purchased, 25 percent were condemned by judicial proceedings, and the remaining 3 percent were administrative takings. The table below gives a breakdown of purchases and condemnations by number and percent for Federal and federally assisted programs. Proportion of ownerships acquired per year by purchase and condemnation in

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the past

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1 Total includes nearly 1990 administrative takings per year, or roughly 2.3 percent of all acquisitions and 3.1 percent of the acquisitions under federally assisted programs.

Purchase rates varied from agency to agency, with the major acquisition agencies or programs having purchase rates in the range of 68 to 93 percent of their acquisitions. For example, purchases comprised 80 percent of the acquisitions for urban renewal, 68 ? percent of the acquisitions for Federal-aid Interstate highway projects, and 93 percent of the acquisitions for low-rent housing. Some 83 percent of the acquisitions by the U.S. Army Engineers were purchases, with the rate for civil works acquisitions being 79 percent; for Air Force acquisitions being 91 percent; and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration acquisitions being 81 percent. Approximately 86 percent of the acquisitions by Department of Interior agencies were purchases, with the Bureau of Reclamation having a purchase rate of 87 percent. The Tennessee Valley Authority had a purchase rate of 93 percent.

Purchase rates for other programs ranged from less than 25 percent to nearly 100 percent. Rates for other agencies, acquiring many fewer parcels than those agencies listed above, can be found in appendix C.

Date on the purchases made below, at, and above agency approved appraisals are reported in the next section of this chapter relating to negotiations.

Condemnation rates varied from agency to agency, with major acquisition agencies or programs having condemnation rates of from 7 to 27 percent. Condemnation and purchase rates for programs having more than 1,000 acquisitions per year in the recent past are as follows:

1 Another 5 percent were administrative takings. Other research reviewed by the subcommittee staff indicates that the purchase rates would be higher for acquisitions in Federal-aid, primary, and secondary highway projects. If data had been available for purchase rates on these other two systems and had been combined with the rate for the interstate projects, the rate undoubtedly would have exceeded 68 percent.

Acquisitions by agencies having more than 1,000 acquisitions per year

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1 Remaining 8 percent accounted for by administrative takings. The

Urban Renewal Administration reports that this number includes some administrative takings in which agreement on price has been reached without judicial proceedings.

Condemnation rates for agencies acquiring less than 1,000 ownerships per year ranged from 2 to over 75 percent. Rates for these agencies are shown in appendix C.

For the large majority of agencies, over 15 percent of the condemnations involved properties in which the agency approved appraisal was in the range of $1,000 or less. For several agencies, the percentage of condemnation actions involving such properties was in excess of 25 percent. The percentages of condemnations involving acquisition of properties valued at more than $1,000 are shown, by agencies, in appendix C.

A substantial number of the condemnation actions initiated during the reporting period were settled. In nearly all programs, the number of condemnation actions settled substantially exceeded the number tried. The number pending at the end of the reporting period also exceeded the number tried during the period.

The proportion of condemnations settled at the agency approved appraisal and the proportion settled above the agency approved appraisal varied from program to program. For most programs, these settlements, when added together, comprised more than 30 percent of all condemnations initiated during the reporting period. For the major acquisition programs for which data are shown in the table below, it is apparent that a sizable percentage of all condemnations were settled at the agency approved appraisal and a sizable percentage were settled above the agency approved appraisal. Undoubtedly, the total percentages of condemnations settled will be increased substantially since many of the cases pending likely will be settled. Additional information on condemnation is presented in appendix C.

For condemnations settled above the agency approved appraisals, the total of those settlements exceeded the total of the approved appraisals for those properties by 20 percent or more for several agencies. It substantially exceeded this percentage for some. Complete data on this relationship were not available.

The proportion of condemnations tried is shown in the table below. The proportion was far less than the number of condemnations either settled or pending.

For condemnations tried, the total of court awards for the properties exceeded agency approved appraisals for the properties by 34 percent or more for most agencies. "The Government's highest testimony in court tended to be higher than the agency approved appraisals. Therefore, the total of court awards exceeded the Government's highest testimony by a slightly smaller amount than it exceeded agency approved appraisals.

Action on condemnations initiated in recent past for which data available

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M. NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES USED BY ACQUIRING AGENCIES IN

PURCHASING PRIVATE PROPERTY

There are wide differences among acquiring agencies in procedures used in negotiating for the purchase of private property required for Federal and federally assisted programs. Once the decision has been made by an agency to acquire a particular tract of land or a particular group of tracts, appraisals are made of the property. These may be by staff appraisers or by private fee appraisers. In all instances, the appraisers are selected because the acquiring agency deems them competent. Their appraisals of the required property are reviewed by staff members of the acquiring agency to insure their completeness and accuracy. After review, the staff of the acquiring agency usually approves the appraisal which, in its best judgment, represents the fair market value of the property.

Some agencies do not offer the property owner less than the agencyapproved appraisal, while some other agencies offer approximately 75 percent of all owners less than the agency approved appraisals. Still other agencies fall within this range. The table below shows for the immediate past the number of purchases for which data on initial offers are available, the number and percentage of instances in which the initial offer was less than the agency-approved appraisal, and the number and percentage of instances in which the property was in fact purchased at less than the agency-approved appraisal.

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