Lowball Watch — California

The Press Democrat of August 5, 2013, (click on http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130805/articles/130809741?title=Landowners-and-Sonoma-county-settle-airport-expansion-lawsuit#page=1 )  reports that Sonoma County has settled its eminent domain action for local airport expansion for $815,000, as opposed to the county’s initial offer of $135,000. What gave this controversy a touch of government chutzpa was that the county valued this 6.5-acre parcel for tax purposes at $408,000, and $475,000 before the bubble popped.

Bottom line: the settlement was 10 times the county’s initial offer.