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DESPEGHEL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CLAIM OF MR. COMPRISING THAT SUM ARE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: $1. THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMENT A COPY OF AN "AGREEMENT TO BUY" COVERING HIS PURCHASE OF THE PROPERTY HERE INVOLVED IN 1964 AT WHICH TIME IT IS SHOWN THAT THE TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE OF THE HOUSE AND LOT WAS $20. HE ADVISES THE FOREGOING IS THE ONLY DOCUMENTATION HE CAN FURNISH IN THE MATTER AS NO SUCH BREAKDOWN WAS MADE IN THE 1967 SALE FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT OF SELLING EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 4. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO SOME REIMBURSEMENT. THE QUESTION IS HOW MUCH. IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PRICE THEREOF HAD INCREASED BY AT LEAST 20 PERCENT IN THE 4-YEAR PERIOD.

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B-165657, JAN. 23, 1969

TO MR. Y. M. DESPEGHEL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CLAIM OF MR. SANFORD M. BILLINGS, SWERI CPF- 2320, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS DATED APRIL 12, 1967, FROM SOMERS, CONNECTICUT, TO ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. BILLINGS HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PAID THE GROSS SUM OF $1,723.60 COVERING THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE IN 1967 AT THE OLD DUTY STATION. COMPRISING THAT SUM ARE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: $1,560, 6 PERCENT BROKERAGE FEE BASED ON $26,000; $60, THE COST OF UP DATING TITLE PREPARATORY TO SALE, PREPARING CONVEYANCE, ETC; $75, RECORDING FEES AND TAXES; $28.60, STATE AND FEDERAL REVENUE STAMPS. THE RECORD BEFORE OUR OFFICE INDICATES THAT THE CLAIMANT HAS NOT FURNISHED, AS REQUESTED, A BREAKDOWN SHOWING THE SALE PRICE OF THE RESIDENCE AND LOT, OR THE SALE PRICE FOR THE PASTURE LAND AND BACK LAND. HE ADVISES THAT "ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO THE HOME INCREASE TOTAL COST UP TO APPROXIMATELY 26,000 AND REPORTED AS SUCH IN 1964 INCOME TAX.'

THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED BY THE CLAIMENT A COPY OF AN "AGREEMENT TO BUY" COVERING HIS PURCHASE OF THE PROPERTY HERE INVOLVED IN 1964 AT WHICH TIME IT IS SHOWN THAT THE TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE OF THE HOUSE AND LOT WAS $20,900 AND THAT MR. BILLINGS PURCHASED SEPARATELY APPROXIMATELY 2-1/2 ACRES OF PASTURE LAND FOR $500 PER ACRE OR $1,250 AND APPROXIMATELY 7 ACRES OF BACK LAND FOR $150 PER ACRE OR $1,050. HE ADVISES THE FOREGOING IS THE ONLY DOCUMENTATION HE CAN FURNISH IN THE MATTER AS NO SUCH BREAKDOWN WAS MADE IN THE 1967 SALE FOR WHICH HE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT OF SELLING EXPENSES UNDER SECTION 4, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT HE SOLD THE FOREGOING PROPERTY IN ITS ENTIRETY FOR $26,000.

IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE CLAIMANT IS ENTITLED TO SOME REIMBURSEMENT. THE QUESTION IS HOW MUCH. UNLESS WE ACCEPT THE BREAKDOWN FURNISHED COVERING THE 1964 TRANSACTION PRESUMABLY THE NECESSARY INFORMATION TO PERMIT REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE FOREGOING SECTION WOULD NOT BE FORTHCOMING. HOWEVER, THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE 1964 "AGREEMENT TO BUY" DOES NOT JUSTIFY REIMBURSEMENT OF THE 6 PERCENT BROKERAGE FEE ON THE SALE PRICE OF $26,000 AMOUNTING TO $1,560. NOR DOES THE CURRENT RECORD SUPPORT THE PAYMENT OF THE $350 CLAIMED FOR SURVEYING THE ENTIRE PROPERTY.

THE 1964 SALE PRICE OF THE TWO PIECES OF LAND TOTALS $2,300. IN 1967 UNDOUBTEDLY THAT LAND WOULD SELL FOR MORE. IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PRICE THEREOF HAD INCREASED BY AT LEAST 20 PERCENT IN THE 4-YEAR PERIOD. ON THAT BASIS THE SALE PRICE OF THE TWO PIECES OF LAND WOULD BE $2,760 MAKING THE SALE PRICE OF THE HOUSE AND LOT $23,240. THIS FIGURE SHOULD ADEQUATELY COVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF MORE POSITIVE PROOF, THE INCREASED COST THEREOF PLUS THE ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS THAT THE CLAIMANT STATES HAVE BEEN MADE. THE 6 PERCENT BROKERAGE FEE ON THAT FIGURE WOULD AMOUNT TO $1,394.40. SINCE MR. BILLINGS HAS BEEN PAID $1,560 THEREFOR HE IS INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE DIFFERENCE, $165.60.

HOWEVER, WITH RESPECT TO THE CLAIM FOR THE $350 SURVEY FEE IT IS EVIDENT FROM THE RECORD THAT MOST OF THE SURVEY WORK WAS IN CONNECTION WITH THE TWO PIECES OF LAND AND SINCE THERE IS INFORMATION IN THE RECORD THAT THE RESIDENCE WAS LOCATED ON TWO ACRES OF LAND AND THE AVERAGE CHARGE IN THE AREA FOR A SURVEY OF A LARGER RESIDENCE IS$100 THAT AMOUNT MAY BE ALLOWED MR. BILLINGS UNDER THE EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES. DEDUCTING THE $100 FROM THE OVERPAYMENT OF $165.60 LEAVES HIM INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $65.60 WHICH SHOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY COLLECTED FROM HIM.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1968 -- NO ENCLOSURES THEREWITH RECEIVED HERE -- CONCERNING THE CLAIMS OF MR. BILLINGS WE HAVE TO ADVISE WITH RESPECT TO THE CLAIM REFERRED TO BY YOU FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF FEES ON THE PURCHASE OF A HOME AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION THAT A CHECK OF OUR RECORDS DOES NOT SHOW THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED THAT CLAIM.

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