City denies Rep's eminent domain claims: United Press International Newstrack, 8/18/06

The city of Monrovia, Calif., has denied U.S. Rep. Gary Miller's claims that he was forced to sell property under eminent domain rules.

The California Republican's claims allowed him to avoid a 31 percent capital gains tax on a $10 million profit he made from a property sale in Monrovia, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. In a financial disclosure form he filed in Congress, Miller claimed the city forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain.

However, city officials have denied Miller's claims, saying the sale was made willingly by the congressman and no threats of eminent domain, a rule that allows the government to force a property sale if it is deemed to be in the public's best interest, were made.

Monrovia Planning Commissioner Glen Owens said the city could not have forced Miller to sell the property because the state rules would not allow it.

"The state doesn't go along with eminent domain," he said. "You have to have a willing seller."

IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board officials said they do not comment on individual cases.

United Press International Newstrack: http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack