Court-appointed appraisers awarded $7.5 million for the taking of property once used as a shopping mall, but being used as an office park at the time of the taking. The property owner challenged the award, and at trial sought to exclude tax appeal documents from two years earlier, in which it estimated the value of four of the five buildings taken as $2,650,000. The owner asserted the tax appeal was not relevant because it did not involve the entire property taken, and besides, it only filed the appeal to force the government to abide by its plan which was supposed to freeze property taxes (but it didn't). The government argued that the appeal was admissible as an admission against interest. The trial court admitted the evidence, and the jury came back with a verdict of $6.95 million.
On appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed. In Kansas City Mall Assoc., Inc. v. Unified Gov't of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, No. 102163 (Mar. 16, 2012), the court held that the evidence was relevant, and it was up to the jury to determine its weight.
It was not necessary that [the owner] personally take a position on value at the eminent domain trial. It would have been enough that the landowner sponsored testimony of a valuation expert with an opinion different from that expressed by [the owner] in the 2005 tax appeal. The tax appeal evidence was relevant to—both material to and probative of—the fair market value of the subject property
Slip op. at 14. Check it out if this issue is of interest -- the court provides details why it rejects each of the property owner's arguments.