just compensation

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A payment the government is required to tender under the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause for property it has taken through eminent domain for some public purpose. The amount due for the property is typically its fair market value, as would be assessed by a reasonable buyer, and should generally compensate the property owner for additional expenses associated with or incurred by the taking. The purpose of just compensation is to return the owner of the taken property to the original financial position they had been in prior to the government’s taking, as though there had been no governmental taking at all.

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]