Document Type

Article

Abstract

Several scholars have proposed to use property owners’ periodic assessments of properties’ economic value as takings compensation, replacing the current U.S. regime which uses ex post, ad hoc governmental assessments of properties’ market value. No empirical study has been done to examine whether the proposed ex ante self-assessment method produces accurate takings compensation. This Article fills the empirical gap by analyzing data from Taiwan’s 1954–1977 regime, which is similar to the proposed scholarly models.

I find that most landowners’ ex ante self-assessments are not only below their economic value but also below the market value. The monetary incentives to report lower self-assessments in order to reduce property taxes appear to outweigh the risk that low self-assessments will result in under-compensation. The ex ante self-assessments method, if implemented in the U.S., will probably produce inaccurate property value assessments as well.

Date of Authorship for this Version

June 2008

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