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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Other Bad Side of Eminent Domain

When the New Brighton city council recently voted 5-0 for a much-needed eminent domain ordinance, we got bonus commentary from the Mayor.

In effect he said he’d like to have his own house purchased under eminent domain because you get more money than you otherwise would. (This is by no means guaranteed though it sounds good.) In other words higher than market value. He practically admitted that is what happens when New Brighton asserts eminent domain. Basically this is just another abusive policy to add to the other ones eminent domain brings about.

Trouble is, the money paid is not the city’s money, it is the taxpayer’s money which is at least leveraging the deal. If more is paid than necessary, then it is simply because the city can do it, and not because it is right. This is the moral hazard of playing with someone else’s money. You do things you would never do with your own money.

Let us remember that the city’s best laid plans have been blown sky high. The city thought it could throw out taxpaying businesses and get townhouses that would pay even more taxes (unethical right there). Now there is an empty field blowin’ in the wind. The money borrowed on the backs of residents will shortly come due and the city must start paying. Higher property taxes will be the result.

Some misguided residents tout the removal of eyesores, but is a non-productive field a better view? It certainly is a more expensive one.

Let's review. Using eminent domain either full blown or threat, to take from one private owner to give to another, is unethical regardless of its legality. Paying for this transaction with tax dollars now or in the future compounds the wrong. Paying more than a property is worth to expedite the deal compounds the wrong even more.

The residents of New Brighton owe Sharon Doffing a hearty Thank You for the new ordinance that certainly stems if not stops all the abuses listed above.

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Anonymous JMB said...

This Mayor backing of Eminent domain is a forced sale not an offer.
Please tell me how this convoluted reasoning by the Mayor could be a non-coercive positive. Seizing your land for so-called economic development and and the
forced sale of ones-property to another, in consequence, places that owner, and any labors that he may have placed onto that property, toward the involuntary servitude of the other, and onto the community that forced the sale. The community that allowed the buying of that property, before its decided retaking of that property, was well compensated for that property in an agreement of social compact, and of contract, that did not include any known or written clause, to the taking of that property fore the purposed sale of that property to another. Therefore that community is now in violation of that contract and of the agreed to social compact so subscribed to, and ratified in, words and deed, and has become as if a singular monarchy, to the exclusions, of all fee men. The buyer of said property; did not, then agree to be positioned as if a whore, to have his labored pleasures presented, as to the pleasures of the highest bidder.
Kudos to Force50...for this insightful post.

8/25/2008 6:01 PM  
Blogger Force50 said...

JMB has a through understanding of contract ... which as Jason Lewis constantly points is being gradually destroyed by liberal-minded courts. Kudos to JMB.

8/26/2008 9:46 AM  
Anonymous MBS said...

The Mayors point here is inaccurate if he means that all the time people and businesses cast out of New Brighton get paid more. NO, they get paid LESS.
The city argues "blight" - a thriving business running with numberous well paid employees that is expanding is hardly blight. Only in the eyes of New Brighton.
The city argues to pay less because they first determine the property is blight. Someone should really do a case study of what was negotiated and paid to other forced out businesses in the city. I watched a city meeting where the city was going to paid far less than the county property tax assessed market value for a business. I think the Mayors comment may be far fetched.

8/28/2008 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Right Fielder said...

Don't try and read too much into Mayor Larson's comments. He is not real bright and is often times politically tone deaf.

I think his comments were an attempt to echo talking points from the League of Minnesota Cities, an organization he blindly worships, and he just wandered off script a bit and screwed it up as he often does.

Steve is a likable guy who does a great job of promoting himself and the city but not someone you go to for great intellectual insight.

8/29/2008 9:06 AM  
Anonymous gkofnb said...

The Mayor must be thinking of the purchase and reslae of the Marv's Transmission Site. It was purchased for aprox $400,000 and resold toa developer for a 1/4 of that amount.
I would like to know how much private property the City has purchased but has never re-sold ( Caldwell Pet Hospital, Harry's Survival Station etc.)

9/04/2008 6:36 PM  

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