I am interested in the case of a town which had a large portion of its chartered land essentially seized by the US Government in the 1950s to be used for military purposes and for which only a nominal amount of compensation was paid far below even its worth at the time. About half the land belonged to the town itself and half to private land owners within the town, who were expelled from their land.

Later, in the 1990s the Federal government abandoned the base that they built on the seized land and gave the land to the state in which the town is located. The state then proceeded to setup up an administrative bureau to manage the land and sell it off to developers who built office buildings. The attraction to the new property owners who are mostly private is that is no property taxes on the land because it is now owned by the state government. So, the town is in the situation of having a large number of businesses in its boundaries who are tax free because their buildings are on state-owned land. There is noone living on the land because it is forbidden to live there. Only businesses are allowed.

Is there any legal basis for the town to sue the state to regain its land or to receive either taxes or compensation for the land that was taken from it?

It seems unfair that land taken under the excuse of a military "emergency" should now be used to profit private business owners.

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    If the land is still state-owned, the new "property owners" are leasing or providing some sort of remuneration to the state and are not actually owners of the properties. – mkennedy Dec 29 '19 at 18:26

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