View Poll Results: What should eminent domain should be used for?

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  • Hospitals/medical facilities

    12 36.36%
  • Roads

    22 66.67%
  • K-12 schools

    11 33.33%
  • Universes/colleges

    10 30.30%
  • Municipal buildings

    10 30.30%
  • Privately owned companies

    1 3.03%
  • Privately owned companies

    1 3.03%
  • Should not be used at all

    8 24.24%
  • other

    7 21.21%
  • Don't know/no opinion

    0 0%
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Thread: What should eminent domain should be used for?

  1. #41
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    Some of them might be partially subsidized by the state but I do not think the states actually own any of the Universities, even the ones with a state's or city's name in the name of the University.
    they are operated by state entities, so who owns them?

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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    How are Universities publicly owned?
    I suppose they aren't really publicly owned the way public schools are. They're sort of publicly owned though. They're funded through money from the states, and usually the state owns the land the University sits on. And for most public universities, the people in charge of the university overall are elected or appointed by the state.

    Who would you say owns a public university if not the state?
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Eminent Domain was originally meant as a last resort to obtain land necessary for the infrastructure and buildings needed by the public, owned by the public. This included roads, public schools, public universities, libraries, municipal facilities such as courthouses, city halls, police and fire stations, water treatment plants, etc.

    In the mid-1980's, it became perverted by greedy municipalities who began to condemn agricultural land, then sell that land at bargain prices to private companies to build things that would bring the city money... things like big box stores (Walmart, K-Mart, Target, strip malls, etc.), anything that would generate large amounts of sales tax revenue. To entice these corporations to build in this ill-gotten land within city limits, the city would do an underhanded quid-pro-quo deal by cutting the property taxes on the land to a mere pittance.

    People are now being driven from their farms, their homes, anything they own that's on potentially lucrative property to make way for highrises, shopping malls, trendy restaurants. It's a travesty.

    How do I know all this? I worked for a city back in the day, and saw all the manipulations that took place to steal land and get money for their own coffers (which paid their salaries) rather than use Eminent Domain as it was intended, for projects serving the public good and owned by the public itself.

  4. #44
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    Eminent Domain was originally meant as a last resort to obtain land necessary for the infrastructure and buildings needed by the public, owned by the public. This included roads, public schools, public universities, libraries, municipal facilities such as courthouses, city halls, police and fire stations, water treatment plants, etc.

    In the mid-1980's, it became perverted by greedy municipalities who began to condemn agricultural land, then sell that land at bargain prices to private companies to build things that would bring the city money... things like big box stores (Walmart, K-Mart, Target, strip malls, etc.), anything that would generate large amounts of sales tax revenue. To entice these corporations to build in this ill-gotten land within city limits, the city would do an underhanded quid-pro-quo deal by cutting the property taxes on the land to a mere pittance.

    People are now being driven from their farms, their homes, anything they own that's on potentially lucrative property to make way for highrises, shopping malls, trendy restaurants. It's a travesty.

    How do I know all this? I worked for a city back in the day, and saw all the manipulations that took place to steal land and get money for their own coffers (which paid their salaries) rather than use Eminent Domain as it was intended, for projects serving the public good and owned by the public itself.
    wasn't eminent domain corrupted much earlier
    seems that the privately owned railroads of the mid/late 1800's were constructed on land taken under this manner ... ostensibly, for the greater good

    in the 1960's there was urban renewal. that was the taking of land where black owned businesses and residences were located - since undeveloped land needed for urban growth no longer existed - and converting it to other uses ...

    the nuclear power companies in the late 60s thru the early 80s took rural property purportedly for the lakes needed to cool the nuclear plants. then they made a killing selling the now excess water front property they paid the original owners peanuts for, under eminent domain. (which is why i believe that the property owners from whom land was taken under eminent domain should have first right of refusal to repurchase that property - at the same price they received for it - should that property ever become available to private owners)

    the taking of detroit property for development of auto manufacturing facilities in the early 80's has already been cited

    the point being, there is a lengthy history of eminent domain being misused
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    wasn't eminent domain corrupted much earlier
    seems that the privately owned railroads of the mid/late 1800's were constructed on land taken under this manner ... ostensibly, for the greater good

    in the 1960's there was urban renewal. that was the taking of land where black owned businesses and residences were located - since undeveloped land needed for urban growth no longer existed - and converting it to other uses ...

    the nuclear power companies in the late 60s thru the early 80s took rural property purportedly for the lakes needed to cool the nuclear plants. then they made a killing selling the now excess water front property they paid the original owners peanuts for, under eminent domain. (which is why i believe that the property owners from whom land was taken under eminent domain should have first right of refusal to repurchase that property - at the same price they received for it - should that property ever become available to private owners)

    the taking of detroit property for development of auto manufacturing facilities in the early 80's has already been cited

    the point being, there is a lengthy history of eminent domain being misused
    I remember reading in Reason magazine a few years ago about New York City doing this several decades ago.

  6. #46
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Seems like a lot of eminent domain issues stem from property VALUE instead of the actual seizing of the property (although I’m sure there are sentimental reasons for keeping real estate, too). For the most part, if full replacement value is paid, then the property owner would be able to replace the asset. The problem comes in when the contemplated improvement is the cause for the increase in value of the asset.

    Meaning, if I’m going to put a 5 lane highway through your $50,000 house on Ĺ acre, most people don’t want the $50,000. They want the $250,000 that the Ĺ acre MIGHT be worth, in someone’s opinion, if it were right on the 5 lane highway. Without the highway, the property isn’t worth much, but most people want the extra property value the highway might bring. However, when the highway comes in and increases the value of surrounding property, no one ever volunteers to pay part of their increased value toward the cost.

    The same can be said for economic development projects. A guy has a $10,000 house. Rumors start of a new project coming to the area and the value goes up to $20,000 because of speculation in the market. It turns out his is right in the middle of where the big project wants to locate. Usually, he’d end up getting $30-$50,000 just for the development entity or government body to avoid attorney’s fees and bad PR. But he holds out for $250,000 threatening to stop an entire project which would have great benefit the entire community. So, he ends up getting into eminent domain issues. Maybe he get's $20,000, maybe more - probably he gets moving expenses covered, too - whatever it is, it's still more than it was worth before speculation began and enough to replace the asset with an equal asset.

    On one hand, I don’t think the government should be able to TAKE someone’s property from them. On the other hand, if the government PAYS what the property is worth (and even a little extra), then I don’t really see harm. There are no capital gains taxes if the property is replaced, and, typically, the owner can even get extra to cover other expenses.

    Yes, it irks me that I don’t see much harm, but there are many much worse ways to lose your property.
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  7. #47
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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenvilleGrows View Post
    Seems like a lot of eminent domain issues stem from property VALUE instead of the actual seizing of the property (although I’m sure there are sentimental reasons for keeping real estate, too). For the most part, if full replacement value is paid, then the property owner would be able to replace the asset. The problem comes in when the contemplated improvement is the cause for the increase in value of the asset.

    Meaning, if I’m going to put a 5 lane highway through your $50,000 house on Ĺ acre, most people don’t want the $50,000. They want the $250,000 that the Ĺ acre MIGHT be worth, in someone’s opinion, if it were right on the 5 lane highway. Without the highway, the property isn’t worth much, but most people want the extra property value the highway might bring. However, when the highway comes in and increases the value of surrounding property, no one ever volunteers to pay part of their increased value toward the cost.

    The same can be said for economic development projects. A guy has a $10,000 house. Rumors start of a new project coming to the area and the value goes up to $20,000 because of speculation in the market. It turns out his is right in the middle of where the big project wants to locate. Usually, he’d end up getting $30-$50,000 just for the development entity or government body to avoid attorney’s fees and bad PR. But he holds out for $250,000 threatening to stop an entire project which would have great benefit the entire community. So, he ends up getting into eminent domain issues. Maybe he get's $20,000, maybe more - probably he gets moving expenses covered, too - whatever it is, it's still more than it was worth before speculation began and enough to replace the asset with an equal asset.

    On one hand, I don’t think the government should be able to TAKE someone’s property from them. On the other hand, if the government PAYS what the property is worth (and even a little extra), then I don’t really see harm. There are no capital gains taxes if the property is replaced, and, typically, the owner can even get extra to cover other expenses.

    Yes, it irks me that I don’t see much harm, but there are many much worse ways to lose your property.
    I have read of instances where the property value went down after rumors of eminent domain became public, so it can work both ways. The trick, and I think I am agreeing with you here, is that the assessed value for payment should be what the property would be worth on the presumption that eminent domain were never a possibility. I do like the idea put forth somewhere else in this thread about actual value plus 10%, or something like that.

    I'm not quite so ready to say that any piece of real estate can be replaced given fair payment, though. Sentimental reasons are just as good as any for not wanting to sell, and not all pieces of real estate are equal even if they are valued equally.

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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenvilleGrows View Post
    Seems like a lot of eminent domain issues stem from property VALUE instead of the actual seizing of the property (although Iím sure there are sentimental reasons for keeping real estate, too). For the most part, if full replacement value is paid, then the property owner would be able to replace the asset. The problem comes in when the contemplated improvement is the cause for the increase in value of the asset.

    Meaning, if Iím going to put a 5 lane highway through your $50,000 house on Ĺ acre, most people donít want the $50,000. They want the $250,000 that the Ĺ acre MIGHT be worth, in someoneís opinion, if it were right on the 5 lane highway. Without the highway, the property isnít worth much, but most people want the extra property value the highway might bring. However, when the highway comes in and increases the value of surrounding property, no one ever volunteers to pay part of their increased value toward the cost.

    The same can be said for economic development projects. A guy has a $10,000 house. Rumors start of a new project coming to the area and the value goes up to $20,000 because of speculation in the market. It turns out his is right in the middle of where the big project wants to locate. Usually, heíd end up getting $30-$50,000 just for the development entity or government body to avoid attorneyís fees and bad PR. But he holds out for $250,000 threatening to stop an entire project which would have great benefit the entire community. So, he ends up getting into eminent domain issues. Maybe he get's $20,000, maybe more - probably he gets moving expenses covered, too - whatever it is, it's still more than it was worth before speculation began and enough to replace the asset with an equal asset.

    On one hand, I donít think the government should be able to TAKE someoneís property from them. On the other hand, if the government PAYS what the property is worth (and even a little extra), then I donít really see harm. There are no capital gains taxes if the property is replaced, and, typically, the owner can even get extra to cover other expenses.

    Yes, it irks me that I donít see much harm, but there are many much worse ways to lose your property.
    In reality, that's rarely how it works. The owner of the property is paid what the property is assessed to be worth, which is usually what the tax records indicate. Negotiation of price is not required. What the property will be worth after the improvement is made is NOT relevant to what the property owner is going to be paid. Ever. Most public entities don't want bad PR, but the fact is that an entity can condemn the property without the owner's approval and hand him a check for the legal value of the property whether he likes it or not.

    Are there worse ways to lose your property? Sure, it could burn down after your insurance lapsed. But to watch the seaside home your parents' built and lived in for 40 years bulldozed so a group of rich investors can put up a multi-billion dollar resort is certainly high on my list of crappy ways to lose your home.
    Last edited by DiAnna; 10-22-11 at 10:37 PM.

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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    In reality, that's rarely how it works. The owner of the property is paid what the property is assessed to be worth, which is usually what the tax records indicate. Negotiation of price is not required. What the property will be worth after the improvement is made is NOT relevant to what the property owner is going to be paid. Ever. Most public entities don't want bad PR, but the fact is that an entity can condemn the property without the owner's approval and hand him a check for the legal value of the property whether he likes it or not.

    Are there worse ways to lose your property? Sure, it could burn down after your insurance lapsed. But to watch the seaside home your parents' built and lived in for 40 years bulldozed so a group of rich investors can put up a multi-billion dollar resort is certainly high on my list of crappy ways to lose your home.
    Exactly. The property owner will never be paid fairly. Seen it so many times. One notable time in my community was an old lady whose family has lived here for generations. Property in the family for 150 years. Three times now the city has seized her land under "eminent domain." Just shocking. So wrong.

    This old lady just fought and fought, but during the last battle, her sweetheart was dying, so she just said, "Screw it," and accepted the city's shamefully unacceptable offer because she had more important stuff going on.

    The possibly happy ending of this story is that this old lady's grandson, a very successful realtor, is now the mayor of the city.

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    Re: What should eminent domain should be used for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    The owner of the property is paid what the property is assessed to be worth, which is usually what the tax records indicate.
    The first part of this statement is true. The second part is false except when the tax record assessment is correct. The two assessments are independently derived.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    What the property will be worth after the improvement is made is NOT relevant to what the property owner is going to be paid. Ever.
    Agreed. But, property owners rarely agree with this statement.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    Most public entities don't want bad PR, but the fact is that an entity can condemn the property without the owner's approval and hand him a check for the legal value of the property whether he likes it or not.
    There is always, at minimum, a legal process available to the property owner.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    But to watch the seaside home your parents' built and lived in for 40 years bulldozed so a group of rich investors can put up a multi-billion dollar resort is certainly high on my list of crappy ways to lose your home.
    Very true, but it doesn't mean the property owner wasn't paid the value of the asset. Do you know if the homeowners complained about the tax value when they owned it? I've seen many examples of people complaining that the tax value was too high for years, and then they complain that a proposed sale value is too low.
    The US is an odd ship. The captain yells out when he sees obtacles , but 535 individual propellers do the steering.

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