posted April 8, 2008 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Stanly County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on May 6. This report identifies $23 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — over 16.7 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.
posted October 4, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Henderson County commissioners are asking voters to approve a 200 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax on November 6. But the county has about $19.6 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
posted October 3, 2007 by Joseph Coletti, Dr. Terry Stoops, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Davie County commissioners are asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase and a 200 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax on November 6. But the county has about $12.1 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
posted October 1, 2007 by Joseph Coletti, Dr. Terry Stoops, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Cumberland County commissioners are asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase on November 6. But the county has about $93.3 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
Municipalities legally can acquire unincorporated areas next to their borders without the consent of the residents living in those areas. This process, called forced annexation, was supposed to promote sound urban development in areas that need municipal services. Instead, it has created a system in which cities ignore the areas most in need of annexation. Even worse, forced annexation is undemocratic and has contributed to the exclusion of minorities from municipalities. Forced annexation needs to be eliminated immediately, and significant annexation reform needs to be adopted.
Eminent domain refers to the government’s power to seize private property without the consent of owners. In 2005, the United States Supreme Court, in the now infamous case of Kelo v. City of New London, held that the government could seize private property solely for economic development reasons. This policy report explains why North Carolina Needs a Constitutional Amendment to prevent such takings.
Current law does not protect North Carolinians from eminent domain abuse. The state and local governments can seize private property for economic development reasons. However, the potential for eminent domain abuse is far more extensive than these “economic development takings.” From the state’s dangerous urban redevelopment law to the government finding clever ways to seize property for private businesses, North Carolina needs comprehensive protection from eminent domain abuse.
North Carolina’s Urban Redevelopment Law is a major threat to private property rights. It is so broad that it would permit the government to seize private property that is not blighted and even to take property for economic-development purposes. Any urban redevelopment law should only permit the government to seize private property if it meets a narrow and common sense definition of blight.
North Carolina needs a constitutional amendment to protect property rights that will contain very specific language. This approach will ensure that courts are unable to undermine the rights that the amendment is designed to protect. The amendment should define key terms such as “public use” and expressly prohibit all takings for private use, including those for economic development purposes.
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