Fair Market Value Requirements of the Bureau of Land Management's Public Land Sales in Las Vegas, NV

Gao ID: 123750 March 27, 1984

GAO discussed a land sale by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Nevada. Under law, BLM is required to obtain a fair market price for the land it sells. Fair market value is defined as the price for which a property would be sold by an informed owner willing, but not obligated, to sell to an informed buyer willing, but not obligated, to buy. BLM contracts for appraisals to determine the fair market value of land to be sold. In the case of the Nevada sales, BLM lowered the minimum bid prices to 15 percent below fair market value in an attempt to stimulate bidding. BLM did this in the belief that revenue was needed immediately from the sales to fund Forest Service land acquisitions. However, funds to cover the Forest Service acquisitions were appropriated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Consequently, GAO believes that there is no need for BLM to discount land in future sales to generate immediate revenue and that, by discounting land in the Nevada sales, BLM did not meet regulatory requirements.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.