Case Law Pertaining to Constitutionality of Billboard Amortization by State and Local Governments
B-302809: Nov 12, 2004
This responds to your request for an update of our February 6, 1991 opinion to Senator Chafee, B-239187 (Enclosure 1), summarizing case law regarding the permissibility of billboard amortization under the U.S. Constitution. At the time of our 1991 opinion, the vast majority of cases had upheld the general practice of amortization as constitutional; some courts also addressed, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular amortization practice was constitutional. As discussed below and in Enclosure 2, the small number of additional cases involving billboard amortization decided since 1991 have likewise upheld this practice, ruling that billboard restrictions which provided for an amortization period did not rise to the level of a "taking" triggering constitutional compensation obligations.