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USA federal courts join with real estate developers against homeowners [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-6-24 00:14:36 |Display all floors
Today the USA Supreme Court said local governments could seize private homes by the dozens and then re-sell them to office park developers -- against the wishes of the homeowners.  The homeowners had argued that local government could only sieze property for public needs like roads, schools, and parks.  

Homeowners would receive "just compensation" but now do not have the right to not sell.  In the past, localities have simply rezoned and reappraised to such high levels that homeowners could not afford the taxes anymore.

I'm not sure what the federal supreme court wanted to accomplish.  Some local governments are very, very corrupt or incompetent or both, and people who build office parks aren't always really bright either.  I've seen a few office parks that weren't much more than steel buildings and weed-covered entryway signs.  You can get a lot of people singing along on just the hope of more jobs, but in the past the result has not always been the bulldozing of other peoples' homes without their consent.  That's changed now.  Get enough political momentum and you can build anything anywhere and pay as little as you can for the land.  It's a subtle shift from ownership to usufruct.

More essentially, I believe the federal courts want to retreat some from the wild west capitalism that's taking place along with globalization.  In the past 50 years, federal courts have been criticized for interference in local affairs dealing with schools (desegreation), religion (church-state seperation), and other issues.

For the federal courts to have sided with homeowners who cannot afford the best legal representation against developers who can afford the best legal representation would have been "leading with your chin" in a lot of local fights.

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Post time 2005-6-24 08:13:03 |Display all floors

This ISN'T New

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Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2005-6-25 04:41:20 |Display all floors

Yes, it isn't new.

Although the Waco siege in 1993 wasn't really a land dispute, people have had a lot of ways to force others to sell their land.

This supreme court decision is in all the mainstream newspapers in the USA, and some people are very upset about it.  One of the Supreme Court Justices, Sandra Day O'Connor, also voiced a strong dissent to the 5-4 decision.

The Wall Street Journal made a very good point about negotiations.  If you own land that's needed by the developer, then your ability to name your own price is weakened due to the decision.  The developer with its deep pockets will open with a low price and rich lawyer.

One thing not talked about at all is the root of the problem in American cities.  The reason cities have had financial problems is because of "white flight" to the suburbs.  Whites have moved away from cities as blacks have gained politicall influence, so properties have lost value and property and busienss tax revenues have decreased.  

One solution other than condemning properties for new, big downtown developments that expand the tax base is to expand the city limits.  Adding suburbs into the city tax base also accomplishes a purpose that the Supreme Court has endorsed, but the method of achieving the goal is just different.

The issue was a locality taking land from one private owner and selling it to another private owner to expand the tax base. The court said okay.

What about a city taking land from an adjoining locality that is an integral part of the metropolitan economy and assigning it to itself -- to expand the tax base and create a greater public good?   

If cities now have stronger eminent domain to expand their tax base, does this mean they have stronger legal authority to annex wealthy suburbs?  Such annexations would solve the tax base problem with greater certainty and less ownership disruption than the court approved just yesterday.  Citizens would still own their homes and businesses, just the address where they mail their taxes would change.

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Post time 2005-6-25 15:48:43 |Display all floors

missing a point here fellas

that 'just compensation' is often reported as beign much MORE than what their actual house value is worth...that means these people aren't becoming homeless and in fact often RICH(chinese virtue).

matt, what country do you live in?

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Post time 2005-6-26 02:50:26 |Display all floors

You raise a good point about people getting high prices for houses.

Your point about the high prices paid to homeowners who are forced out is valid, but it's not the only issue at stake.  If there's a parcel of land that the government needs, then it can seize it with "just compensation".  Today though, they're saying the government can take property if another private owner wants it.

In the case considered, the homeowners didn't want to sell at any price.  One homeowner was 85 and had been born in her home, and another one just liked the view and the great location.  

If a city can take homes and sell them for bigger developments that will bring more tax revenue, which is what the Supreme Court approved, then why can't a financially troubled city annex a wealthy suburb into its city limits to increase its tax revenue?

No one dares talk of such an idea in America, the land where I live.

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Post time 2005-6-26 05:11:49 |Display all floors

hey matt

so, how often does that realy happen?  i mean, for that to happen there has to be, in my opinion, very rare circumstances...perhaps the new wal-mart is better for the community than the 50 1920 built ghetto shacks/houses and probably better for those 50 residents in financial terms.

you and i both know that the corner of a square block is almsot always reserved for commercial zoning, in resedential area/suburbs.

they are building alot of housing by me (actuall, i just moved) and ibet hose farmers are multi-millionaires now!  yeah, maybe they adhored their corn field and john deer tractor, but i certainly don't feel bad for them.

another formunite once told me that in Italy the government can just take away the house for excavation and for commercial zoning, without compensation.  i don't know how true that is, but i bet that the case more times than not in the world.  So, be glad that you being american entitles you to greater things in life...many people in the world would die for and still do (immigrants).

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Post time 2005-6-26 05:19:57 |Display all floors


well, i don't know if my last post will go thru...

in a nutshell, this rarely happens and i doubt will still not happen any more or not much more often than before now that this new l_a_w is passed.

not everyone in the w_o_r_l_d is c_o_m_p_e_n_s_a_t_e_d by their g_o_v_e_r_n_m_e_n_t because they want to build a road through their town, or by the local retailer (if one even exists).

so, be g_l_a_d that you being an a_m_e_r_i_c_a_n entitles you great privileges.  priviliges most people int he world would d_i_e for and still do (i_m_m_i_g_r_a_n_t_s).

sory for the jumbled wording...i'm trying to penetrate the political s_e_n_s_o_r_s

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