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23.11.14 2043
The W - Current Events & Politics - Supreme court rules cities may seize homes for private devolpers (Page 2)
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Jonny_English
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Since: 18.3.04
From: Derby, UK

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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.21
Something similar to this has been used in the UK for years. From memory, if a homeowner were to refuse to sell his/her property to a developer who owns a significant amount of the surrounding land, the local council can make a "compulsory purchase order", essentially meaning that the homeowner has to sell to the developer, and the developer has to pay a fair market price for the property.

It seems to work well (unless it's your home being purchased, I suppose), is transparent, well regulated and is pretty rarely used.
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.22
I'm not a huge fan of eminent domain. It's a hairy issue, and VERY tough to get away with. Sit on any city or county planning commission and MENTION eminent domain, and you'll be out on a rail in a heartbeat.

However, I think people are overreacting just a bit.

All this ruling says is it's not UNCONSTITUTIONAL for a city our county to use eminent domain for something OTHER than blight, transportation enhancement, etc. Blight is not minor deal - and often can include affordable housing and low income units - which get redeveloped at the hands of PRIVATE development. How is that any different than what's going on here?

All this ruling allowed was for eminent domain to be used for ECONOMIC reasons, in addition to the others. If you look into it a bit, the revolved around seven families that owned 15 houses were holding up a major economic redevelopment. Most of the other home owners had already sold their property. Clearly, eminent domain was being used in an extreme circumstance to help revitalize a cities failing economy. Personally, I think that's much more with worth while than widening a freeway.

And the city doesn't just get to "take" their land, they have to, at least, pay fair market value. Sometimes more.

(edited by Leroy on 25.6.05 0925)



"The Chia Pet: When not bothering to give you a gift at all isn't enough to reveal how much I hate you."

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Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
Actually that's not always true. I know there was a case in North Carolina where they wanted to expand the highway right through a family owned store. The family didn't want to sell and the government either threatened to condemn it and do it anyway, or they did condemn it to force the family to sell.

Same thing happened in Chapel Hill when the University decided it wanted to expand some more. They ended up in a big fight with this woman who went to the Historical Society to get her house saved but in the end they ended up condemning and forcing her off the property.

-Jag




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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.22
Jag-

I don't think the county can just decide to condemn a perfectly decent building because they want to acquire the property. I know of cases where Santa Barbara County officials have condemned buildings - for legitimate reasons - and the courts ruled the that the county was wrong and the buildings were "un-condemned". Maybe that's just Santa Barbara.

In any case, that shouldn't be allowed. People should be compensated fairly when eminent domain is used.

(edited by Leroy on 25.6.05 1514)

"The Chia Pet: When not bothering to give you a gift at all isn't enough to reveal how much I hate you."

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Von Maestro
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Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

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#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.15
Well, this (freestarmedia.com) is certainly a unique way to express your unhappiness with the recent ruling... :-)
Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

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#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
    Well, this (freestarmedia.com) is certainly a unique way to express your unhappiness with the recent ruling... :-)


That is six kinds of awesome.


-Jag




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CRZ
Big Brother
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.44
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
    Well, this (freestarmedia.com) is certainly a unique way to express your unhappiness with the recent ruling... :-)
Hey, look, it's one of the nutjobs who ran for CA governor in 2003 - he finished 131st!



CRZ
brick
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Since: 17.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 571 days
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#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.70
How 'bout them Cowboys (dallasnews.com)

Looks like someone has found a new way to get the land for their stadium. Although it would have been a good idea for at least one of the property owners to show up for the meeting.
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

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#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Leroy
    In any case, that shouldn't be allowed. People should be compensated fairly when eminent domain is used.


What constitutes "fair compensation" is half the reason for all the fighting. Who sets the price and by using what criteria?

There's the straight-up economic value, having estimators compare the property to similar properties in the region that have sold recently. But can one quantify sentimental value, stemming from having lived or worked from that location for generations? The hassle factor -- changing addresses, stationary, business cards, advertising, etc.? What if no suitable replacement is readily available, and the displaced person/company can't simply shift their base of operations to somewhere nearby or affordable?

If the government takes my farm and there's no farm in the county that I can purchase with my compensation, where do I go? How do I make a living? If the government takes my business's land and there's no affordable place around where I can rebuild my facilities and restructure my business, or if compensation for the land itself doesn't cover increased costs of construction somewhere else, what do I do? If I have great attachment to my location and don't want to sell at _any_ price, can any compensation be considered fair?

This is why eminent domain should be restricted to the most extreme needs of a community. While I agree that the Supreme decision was more "It's not our place to say no, rather the states'/cities'" than "We endorse this practice," an office complex and health spa aren't what I would call an extreme need under any circumstances.




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Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.23
Look, I'm not an advocate for blind use of eminent domain. Personally, I think utilizing it to widen a freeway is not a good idea.

Certainly, in the situation you propose, I would be against eminent domain. I would be hard pressed to find a reason to support it.

But what if you had a city that was in dire economic need. They have a corporation that's willing to move in an developer on a specific parcel of land - offering the potential for jobs, tourists, and perhaps the enticement for other companies or small businesses to develop. The majority of property owners willingly sold their property to the city to make room for the development. And a small group who own a small portion of the area decide their not going to sell.

It's all about how you've charaterize the devlopment. From what I read, it was more than just an office building and a health spa. This development vould potentially benefit tens of thousands of people. And 7 people who own 15 lots are able to kill the entire thing.

That just doesn't seem right to me.

(edited by Leroy on 30.6.05 0838)


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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
There's another dirty little secret of eminent domain... property tax.

Here in San Diego, for example, I'm looking at about 1.1% property tax. Now, if I've got a place that I bought for $40k back in the 70's and get compensated at the 2005 price of $500k, I can probably get into an equivalent home somewhere else in town, but my yearly property tax would jump from $400 to $5000.



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messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.26
The other issue becomes taking into all account all the potential costs and benefits of the development, not just the benefits.

Are taxpayers paying for the increased level of service to the development, such as roads and sewer? Are the taxpayers paying for cleanup of surrounding waterways when the level of polluted stormwater increases? Are the developers paying money up front but getting it back in the form of increased taxes through tax development districts and tax increment financing that costs taxpayers more?

Cities and developers are quick to promise increased benefits, but in truth taxpayers pay a whole lot of external costs that really brings the benefits into question.





Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Sec19Row53
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Oconomowoc, WI

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#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    There's another dirty little secret of eminent domain... property tax.

    Here in San Diego, for example, I'm looking at about 1.1% property tax. Now, if I've got a place that I bought for $40k back in the 70's and get compensated at the 2005 price of $500k, I can probably get into an equivalent home somewhere else in town, but my yearly property tax would jump from $400 to $5000.

[off topic] Do you mean that you're not currently taxed at what the property is worth, instead you're taxed based on what you paid for it? [/off topic]



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.32
    Originally posted by Sec19Row53
    [off topic] Do you mean that you're not currently taxed at what the property is worth, instead you're taxed based on what you paid for it? [/off topic]


That's not how it works here in Washington (or at least in Pierce County). I get a notice each year of the reassessed value of the land and structure, as the county sees it. In 2003 they only assessed the empty lot, so in 2004 when there was a house on it, our property tax went up 400%.



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too-old-now
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Since: 7.1.04

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#35 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.09
In Connecticut, properties for tax assesments are revalued every four years (relatively recently, it used to be every ten years) Every property is valued on the same baseline year's basis. If a property is developed, it is compared to similar values at the baseline year's rates.
Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#36 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Well, perhaps I don't understand prop 13 too well. Here's what I can tell you for sure: My property tax hasn't changed yet since I bought my condo back in 2001.

I've actually been looking into OR law on this more than CA law recently. I figure I'll just pay what I owe when they tell me if I end up staying in CA long enough for it to matter.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
whatever
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Since: 12.2.02
From: Cleveland, Ohio

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#37 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.47
We get an assesment every year as to what the city feels our house is worth and they tax off of that. The thing to keep in mind is that the value does not necessarily reflect what you can get for the house, but it does rely more heavily on what you paid for the house. As a result, my property tax has not changed much at all since I bought my home in 2000. Whoever buys my place will certainly get a bump-up though - heh, heh, heh.



"Lita holds a Stone Cold Steve Austin home pregnancy test. What will the Bottom Line say? Hell Yeah or Eh-EH?" - Raw Satire, 6/15/04
(Apparantly ours said "Hell Yeah", 03/08/05)

Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#38 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.23
    Originally posted by messenoir
    The other issue becomes taking into all account all the potential costs and benefits of the development, not just the benefits.

    Are taxpayers paying for the increased level of service to the development, such as roads and sewer? Are the taxpayers paying for cleanup of surrounding waterways when the level of polluted stormwater increases?


Not if your planners know what they are doing. You don't necessarily want to assume that all infrastructure will need to be redone. If the city has hired a decent planning team - and that's a HUGE if - they pretty much tell you what's going to work and what isn't. Of course, how much needs to be revamped often depends on the size of the project.

Typically, you want to do these things incrementally, so there's really two ways to do it. One is to absorb the costs into the projected increase in tax revenue. So for example, the first year you'll do roads, second year sewers, etc. And you'll consider those costs in the overall redevelopment plan. So are the tax payers footing the bill? Well, it is public money, but it wouldn't be there without the development, so it's hard to say.

The second way is to place some of those costs on the private developer. They get to purchase the land, but they have to front some of the costs of infrastructure. Now, sometimes there is incentive for them, as it makes no sense to build 10,000 homes if the infrastructure can only handle 5,0000. If the developer can make enough profit off the development, they will sometimes take on some or all of the costs - though some will get away with paying nothing if the city lets them

Usually, it's a combination fo the two. Some of the infrastructure renovations get absorbed into the increased tax revenue, and some by the developer. Who pays more usually depends on whether the city needs the development more, or the developer wants to build more.

But I can tell you that re/development will not happen without initiative from the private sector. As much as I hate to admit it, that's just a fact. Especially redevelopment. In SoCal - is making enough of money off new development that they really don't see the need for redevelopment.


(edited by Leroy on 30.6.05 1419)

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Reverend J Shaft
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Since: 25.6.03
From: Home of The Big House

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#39 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.60
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Well, perhaps I don't understand prop 13 too well. Here's what I can tell you for sure: My property tax hasn't changed yet since I bought my condo back in 2001.

    I've actually been looking into OR law on this more than CA law recently. I figure I'll just pay what I owe when they tell me if I end up staying in CA long enough for it to matter.


Something similar in Michigan. There is a ceiling on year-to-year increases (tied to inflation, I believe) in taxable assessed value. However, if the owner of the property changes, then the new owner would pay on the full assessed value of the property for the upcoming (prorated) tax period.

For example, let's say a property is assessed at $100,000. The taxable value can only increase on some factor of inflation each year. So even if the property's assessed value is $200,000 after 10 years, the owner is only paying taxes on an assessed value of let's say $130,000. But if the owner sells the property, the new owner must start paying taxes on the full $200,000.

So, eminent domain would really screw over someone who's owned their house for awhile...

(edited by Reverend J Shaft on 30.6.05 1823)
Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#40 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    That's not how it works here in Washington (or at least in Pierce County). I get a notice each year of the reassessed value of the land and structure, as the county sees it. In 2003 they only assessed the empty lot, so in 2004 when there was a house on it, our property tax went up 400%.


In Maryland, we get reassessed once every three years and, according to the DC Post, the average house value should double in three years. Our property tax has doubled from the rate set six years ago.

In Montgomery County, the median price of a new single family home is $660,000. Analysts expect it to break $1 million in about five years. Just for our county.

Right now, I could sell my house, take the $600K or so, move up north to Fredrick or Carrol counties (up near the PA line) and get a bigger house for half the price. My best friend's bro sold their condo in Leesburg, VA (where property values are sky high) for $600K (paid $250K back in '01) and got a six bedroom and 3.75 bath (I think that extra .25 is just a closet with a sink) for $350 in Frederick.

Housing in the DC area is a sellers market and there seems to be no end in sight for the rising values and taxes.




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