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Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 01:22 PM   #1
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Better wipe the home off your asset list

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8331097/

Supreme Court rules cities can declare eminint (sp) domain on your house because a 7-11 serves the greater good.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Boosting tax revenue is grounds for eminent domain? So much for buying waterfront property in town.

I've seen this happen when Northeast Mall in DFW, Texas had the neighborhood south of it leveled to expand. I wasn't happy about it then, but now the Supreme Court blesses this practice? Yikes.

I wonder if "fair market value" really is fair?
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Wouldn't be in my neighborhood. If they use assesment value anyway, since that always comes in about 50k under what houses sell for.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Usually those that have their property "condemned" through eminent domain get a very fair deal (make out like bandits). Having represented my father in law in getting his "just compensation" from one of his slum units showed me just what cities and states will pay in "hush" money for non-essential projects. I think we got double or triple what the house was worth.

I also worked for the state DOT and then the City in the legal department condeming property. It was rare that someone was not offered an above market payment for what they have taken from them. Most cities and states are too lazy/savvy to fight over a couple of thousand or a couple of ten thousand dollars because of bad publicity, uncertainty to win in a condemnation suit, and the high cost of litigation. The govt agencies usually offer an above market rate (sometimes with a little prodding) and try to settle quick. They generally aren't out to screw over property owners, they just want to get the project completed on time and close to the budget without the mayor/governer asking them why Channel 5 is trying to interview them about the latest new assault on their constituents.

It's funny that most people seemed to be happy to settle for what they are getting. Then a minority of people see the government wanting their land as a lottery ticket. A small minority also genuinely don't want to lose their home of 20, 30, 40+ years. The truth is usually evident.

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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

I read a similar article. Apparently the residents were offered big $$$, but they wouldn't sell at any price. While I understand that the Supremes have now given their tacit approval to a developer that manipulate the local government into using its eminent domain powers, what's the big deal if you're getting way, way, way above market price?

I understand a man's home is his castle, but if you don't like a local government that lets itself be pushed around by developers, you need to exercise your Constitutional right to "throw dem bums out".
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 03:57 PM   #6
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

If the government came to me and said, we'll pay you 15% more than what your home is worth. Deal? I would ask them what time can we close today. A lot of times relocation assistance is also provided. People can easily and cheaply fight condemnation suits around here though. Most lawyers around here charge a contingency fee of 50% of any amount they win you over what the government offered you to start out with. Attorney wins you $10k extra, you get $5k, the lawyer gets $5k. The cases usually settle. Attorney makes out like a bandit. No cost to you for trying if your only other alternative is to take what the govt is offering.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 04:28 PM   #7
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Sounds like a way for cities to get rid of undesirables. Got a cluster of scruffy poor folks on your otherwise prime real estate? Use this to boot em and get that land producing much higher tax revenue.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 04:29 PM   #8
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

You guys are doing a pure dollar analysis of this issue, I think the real issue is the swing of power further away from individual rights. Some people consider their home a part of themselves. What if you are elderly, how will that displacement affect you? What if you can't get a home as close to work/relatives? What if it's your dream home on the waterfront? I understand that eminint domain has it's place, but so other people can get rich? Let's say they pay you market value, then demo the neighborhood to build luxury homes and guess what? You can't live in your home town anymore because market value is up and demand is high due to all the displaced home owners!

It is a big deal, I think this decision will make it so people no longer get way, way more than market value, and when you just screw 5-10% of the population at a time, you never get enough people mad enough to "throw the bums out". This is how you boil a frog.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 05:02 PM   #9
 
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

I think that ugly pink-orange paint job probably factored in to the judges' decision.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 05:04 PM   #10
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Ribbet.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-23-2005, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

A person should be secure in their property. Just because someone else thinks they could make better use of it than me does not justify taking it from me. My property is mine. I couldn’t care less if I am in the way of someone’s project. If they want to pay me enough to induce me to sell then that is my decision. I do not want the Government taking my property for “The Greater Good”.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 01:44 AM   #12
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

This is one of the most erosive cases that the Supremes have decieded when one truth checks this against the history of the 5th Ammendment right to private property.* The implications are that real estate is subject to fiat seizure based on the ad valorum income production and an increase in the cumulative taxable base.* The right to be secure in title to property was one of the basic reasons we threw out the tyrany of British rule a coule of centuries ago.

The decision undermines the basic tenet of private property rights and sets us all up to be mere peasants at the whim of the politically elite who fund elections and control land development decisions, as well stated in the dissenting opinion.*

This is the stuff of revolution, if taken to the levels that one might expect from the pinheads that run municipal planning and zoning departments.

This is a country of sheep being manipulated into socialistic mediocraty by those that would know better than we as to what we should do with our homes.* The premise for this policy is closer to marxist doctrine that all property must be allocated for the greater good of the state rather than the Constitution.

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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 02:20 AM   #13
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

This decision seems to have many up in arms. This has been in the Constitution since it started. If the Gov't wants your property they pay fair value for it and it's thiers. I have seen this happen many times, normally when the local gov't wants to widen a road.

As stated they normally pay an astronomical price for the land. The Gov't wants the project to finish quickly and can only accomplish this if they are able to "convince" a large majority of people to sell. If they are stuck in court for too long, public opinion chages against them and makes the project very unpopular and no longer a benefit for the community. Not to mention they now have to pay the lawyer fees in addition to the purchase price of the land.

I don't like it, but since it has been on the scroll since the founding of this country I doubt the gov't will suddenly decide they are going to do a land grab.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 07:23 AM   #14
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Yep

The old fashioned way is to er ah 'slowly guide you' into appropriate use - via taxes.

In my younger days in Colorado hoisting a beer after work - I remember this 'older fella' - after WW II - I started wheat farming outside Denver and as taxes rose, I would sell and buy a farm further out AND have come to the conclusion since 1946 - 1974, I am not 'really' a farmer but a land speculator/developer for the suburbs/tech centers/malls.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 08:18 AM   #15
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Right, Eminent Domain has been there since the beginning. However, I thought it was for roads or something actually for the public good. Eminent Domain for a mall, a housing project (no matter how noble) and/or just to raise revenue, is not, IMHO, what the constituition meant.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 09:05 AM   #16
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Our legal system is based on the English system. Historically speaking, the King (now, the state) is said to have granted the land to a bunch of people a long time ago. The chain of title of all land privately owned was originally owned by the King (the state). The King always has a right to revoke that grant of land and take it for himself. The constitution requires that we the people receive "just compensation" for any taking. You buy property subject to the King's right to revoke his grant. If you don't like it, get the laws changed or I hear other countries are taking citizenship applications The libertarian notion that "what's mine is mine and nobody can take it" isn't an accurate reflection of the state of affairs.

The person who commented about property as being part of a person has a point though. See Radin's comments on Property as Personhood. This theory has been around for a while in the property law literature.

On a different note, what is a poor, run-down former industrial town to do when faced with a distressed local economy? Let itself dwindle to a ghost town? Or revitalize itself through economic development. You see, the private developers could come in and buy up the neighborhood house by house. But, there will be some holdouts. These rent-seeking holdouts know they can charge a ridiculous price for their property because the developer really really wants it. The government stepping in and taking a whole neighborhood is, in my opinion, an appropriate act from an economic standpoint. The rent-seeking behavior of the holdouts is a market inefficiency, and the government is stepping in to fix the market inefficiencies.

The ability of the city or state to take private property for public use is governed by state law. Some states, like where I live in North Carolina, doesn't allow taking property for things like this economic development in a non-blighted area. It just depends on your state. If you have a problem with this, vote with your wallet and don't buy property in that state. Further, NC law allows taking property immediately with no recourse from the property owner for things like roadbuilding. The Dept. of Transportation goes to the courthouse and files a declaration of taking, and they own it. The legal issue becomes "just compensation". For non-roadway projects, the govt has to be able to prove a public purpose for the taking, and condemnees can challenge this public purpose in state court. While the court challenge is pending, the govt can't build their project. Non-road projects usually offer condemnees very very "just" compensation so they will take the money and leave them alone. Most people sell their property to the govt while in negotiations before the property is condemned through eminent domain.

I remember one case with a particularly ungrateful property owner that I dealt with. I can't get in to much detail, but the govt was negotiating a "taking" of a drainage easement on the property so the govt could install, at the govt's expense, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of concrete piping. The improvements on the property owner's land was causing flooding of a shopping center immediately upstream from the property owner's land. Property owner was legally liable for flood damage. The govt offered to fix property owner's land for free to prevent future flooding of the road and the shopping center upstream. Property owner refused, saying the govt was taking his land to provide drainage. But the property owner had a legal responsibility to provide adequate drainage across his property. If someone approached me and offered to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to my property free of charge, I'd take that deal in a heartbeat.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 09:06 AM   #17
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Right, Eminent Domain has been there since the beginning.* However, I thought it was for roads or something actually for the public good.* Eminent Domain for a mall, a housing project (no matter how noble) and/or just to raise revenue, is not, IMHO, what the constituition meant.*
This is why the Supreme Court has to "interpret" what the founding fathers meant...which is why the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle is pretty important.
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 09:12 AM   #18
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

I saw on the news last night that you can go the the Supreme Court's website to provide comments on their court decision in the New London eminent domain case. I laughed, because I thought lifetime appointment in times of good behavior (not popular election) and the separation of powers and all that was supposed to leave the Judiciary (at the federal level) isolated from the quandaries of public opinion. Why does the Supreme Court care what Joe Blow or John Q. Public thinks?

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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 09:56 AM   #19
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

Eminent Domain has always been there, but like said above, now we go from "for the public good" to raiding from one private party to go to another private party. The test case was perfect, very compelling, a perfect "camel's nose under the tent". I believe the problem is the Court decision wasn't narrow enough. Now that the precedent has been set, I expect abuses of this "right" will follow. What's to stop a rich person from kicking some one off their land because they think a McMansion would go well there? Hey, higher property taxes, mor tax revenue, greater good, right?
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list
Old 06-24-2005, 10:07 AM   #20
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Re: Better wipe the home off your asset list

I think the justices that voted for this action are traitors to this nation. I go to an even greater extreme in the opposite direction: I do not believe there should be property taxes. Such taxes mean that you never really "own" your property--you are merely renting from the government. If you don't believe me, try not paying property taxes for awhile and see who will eventually own "your " property. Welcome to the new Amerika.
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