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Business Relocation Assistance Retrospective Study

Survey of Current Status of Business Relocation Payment Limits

In the next phase of the research study, ORC identified those states that have enacted legislation to enhance the statutory limits authorized by the Uniform Act and its implementing regulations for reestablishment expenses and fixed (in-lieu-of) payments. This included legislation which supplements, replaces or mitigates these benefits, such as loss of going concern or good will, or business damages. This information was documented in a summary report and a table with the appropriate supporting data.

ORC contacted a representative from the SDOT in each of the fifty (50) states and found that fifteen (15) currently offer some type of business relocation cost payment eligibility above the current Federal statutory limits. Five (5) states offer payment for loss of going concern/goodwill or business damages caused by the acquisition.

The research findings related to business relocation assistance payments in excess of the current Federal statutory limits or those payments associated with loss of goodwill or business damages are summarized in Attachment A – State Excess Relocation Payments. However, some key findings from the survey are as follows:

The following fifteen (15) states offer payments in excess of those provided under the Uniform Act or 49 CFR Part 24 in one or more of the following areas:

ORC attempted to determine or verify the legislative history that prompted each state's legislation. However, this history was not readily available, and the current State DOT staff was not familiar with the legislative issues that led to the statutory change.

State Payment Maximum Payment Criteria for Receiving Payment
Delaware Reestablishment $22,500 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Maine Reestablishment $20,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $100,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Maryland Reestablishment $60,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $60,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Minnesota Reestablishment $50,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Mississippi Reestablishment $10,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Note: All businesses are eligible to receive maximum $10,000 payment in addition to actual, reasonable moving expenses and fixed (in-lieu) payment.
New Hampshire Reestablishment $100,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
North Dakota Reestablishment Actual, reasonable & necessary costs to reestablish the business Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $40,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Search expense $5,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Oklahoma Reestablishment Actual, reasonable & necessary costs to reestablish the business Result of interpretation of State Supreme Court ruling. There are administrative requirements that the business owner must fully invest the fair market value of the acquired property in a replacement property in order to qualify for the reestablishment payment. There is a $2,500 cap on eligibility for reestablishment advertising expenses.
Pennsylvania Reestablishment $12,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $60,000 All businesses are eligible for the fixed payment in addition to actual, reasonable moving expenses and reestablishment expenses.
The minimum payment is $3,000.
South Carolina Reestablishment $50,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Utah Reestablishment $50,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $75,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Virginia Reestablishment $25,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Fixed Payment $75,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Washington Reestablishment $50,000 Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24
Wisconsin Business Replacement Payment $50,000 -Owner
$30,000 - Tenant
Reimburses business owner or tenant for the additional cost to purchase or rent a replacement business site (similar to replacement housing payment for residential displacees).
Wyoming Reestablishment Actual, reasonable and necessary costs to reestablish the business Same as URA & 49 CFR Part 24

The following five (5) states offer payments for loss of goodwill, loss of patronage or business damages:

State Payment Description of Payment
California Loss of goodwill Goodwill consists of the benefits that accrue to a business as a result of its location, reputation for dependability, skill or quality, and any other circumstances resulting in probable retention of old or acquisition of new patronage. (California Code of Civil Procedure section 1263.510)
State Payment Description of Payment
Florida Business damages Business damages are considered lost profits attributable to the reduced profit-making capacity of the business caused by the taking. The business must be subject to a partial taking to qualify for business damages. Business damages are payable under Section 73.071(3)(b), Florida Statutes, but are not specifically defined in the law.
Louisiana Business loss Reimbursement of damages to the full extent of the loss is required by the State constitution.
Minnesota Loss of going concern/ goodwill Going concern means the benefits that accrue to a business or trade as a result of its location, reputation for dependability, skill or quality, customer base, good will, or any other circumstances resulting in the probable retention of old or acquisition of new patronage. (Section 117.186, Minnesota Statutes)
Ohio Loss of goodwill Goodwill means the calculable benefits that accrue to a business as a result of its location, reputation for dependability, skill or quality, and any other circumstances that result in probable retention of old, or acquisition of new, patronage. (Section 163.01(K), Ohio Revised Code) A business owner may recover for loss of business goodwill if it is proven that the loss is caused by the taking of the property. (Section 163.14, Ohio Revised Code)

This survey confirms that 38% of the states (19 out of 50) have either increased the current Federal statutory limit for one or more types of business relocation assistance payments or allowed for some type of business loss payment. Representatives from most of the states that limit relocation benefits to the Federal statutory maximum payment indicated that their business relocation program is somewhat limited in ability and effectiveness to provide for successful relocations. In addition, representatives from those states that offer business relocation benefits above the current Federal statutory amounts consider them a positive effect to assure successful relocation.

Updated: 09/05/2014
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