Eminent domain: Attractive property rearrangement
Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:58 AM
The Senate conducted a hearing yesterday on the Supreme Court's Kelo decision on the powers of eminent domain, and the Washington Times reported some scary (il)logic from Hartford, Conn. Mayor Eddie Perez. It speaks for itself:
Private-property owners and government officials squared off yesterday in a Senate hearing over what makes up the American dream.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez of Hartford, Conn., said the American dream means letting city governments seize property under newly expanded eminent-domain powers so they can give it to private developers who promise to generate greater tax revenue with it.
Mr. Perez, speaking on behalf of the National League of Cities, said: "Eminent domain is a powerful economic-development tool that helps cities create jobs, grow businesses, and, most importantly, strengthen neighborhoods."
And despite the near-universal outrage from minority groups, the Hartford mayor said eminent domain is good for blacks.
"For urban America and communities of color, in particular, homeownership is the ticket to the American dream," Mr. Perez said. "If Congress were to pass legislation to hamstring state and local governments from using eminent domain in some of our poorest communities, I believe that we would have fewer people becoming homeowners."
And property-rights advocates have nothing to worry about, he said.
"From [an] owner's position, it seems to me that eminent domain ... is, in a way, the most attractive way in which to have your property rearranged," he said, noting that the owner is compensated.
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