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Wal-Mart can take away your house!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I don't know if anyone has heard about this, but it really angered me to hear how little the goverment cares about private property ownership. I can understand needing a section of my property to put up a new electricity pole, or even digging up the end of my driveway to install new water pipelines, but I would never give up my property so they can build a new Wal-Mart, which is exactly what the city wants to do with the property once it is seized.

this link is from the neil boortz show, I know he may not be liked by everyone here, even me, but i actually agree with what he says here:

Neil Boortz article

here's a link from the local NBC affiliate:

NBC article

Basically, anyone in Alabama that owns a home can have their home taken away by the gov as long as they can make a good case for it in court.

if you don't believe me, just google "alabaster alabama eminent domain" or any version of the above.

here's what the mayor of the city has to say about it:
Letter from the mayor

here it mentions that the average citizen earns $65,000/year:
Economic development section
how can this community or this area be considered "blighted" or low income, if that is the average income of the citizens?

Here's the jovial local press release about the new business coming to town:
city news

So what do you guys think about this? Is it ok for a city to forcibly buy your property so they can sell it at a higher profit to a private business, and collect higher taxes for this? Where is the benefit to the people? Perhaps jobs? Perhaps lower prices on goods from Wal-Mart? Does that justify taking away someone's home? Would there be that great a benefit?
post #2 of 7
Seemed appropriate to add this horror here: http://www.jimhightower.com/air/read.asp?id=11174

WalMart is the new Amerika.

Who needs Government Conspiracies when we've got a Corporate one?


edited to add: deep apoligies for posting an OT tangent ---- learning about yet ANOTHER WalMart escapade just makes me so addled that I become totally irrational...not to mention hearing yet another case of eminent domain seizure for corporate profit and convenience. (It happened here with the new New York Times building. I read the paper because I think it is the best daily available here, but just lost it at them for that!)

The list of eminent domain for corporations siezures in the article was, I'm sure, not exhaustive. It has been going on for a long time and it is very troubling how tenuous the "public interest" connection can be for this to be succesfully done.

I also wonder what the figures are for eminent domain seizures for public interest projects (power lines, roads, national/state parks/etc.) versus corporate profit-based companies. Perhaps statistics about jobs lost/gained, people displaced, etc.

I know LOTS and LOTS of people were displaced during the highway building mania during the 60s and 70s. However, I think they were supposed to be paid fair market value for their land. I'm not so sure if that is happening here.:
post #3 of 7
Quote:
So what do you guys think about this? Is it ok for a city to forcibly buy your property so they can sell it at a higher profit to a private business, and collect higher taxes for this? Where is the benefit to the people? Perhaps jobs? Perhaps lower prices on goods from Wal-Mart? Does that justify taking away someone's home? Would there be that great a benefit?
This was going on in Pittsburgh recently where the city wanted to take property via Eminent Domain in order to allow for rebuilding and building of new businesses. It was struck down in the courts I believe.

Eminent Domain as I came to understand, such as I understand, is supposed to only be used if the land is needed for a PUBLIC purpose, as in for water pipes, electric lines, for safety issues-to get people off a flood plain might be another acceptable use?

So in answer to the question: "Is it ok for a city to forcibly buy your property so they can sell it at a higher profit to a private business, and collect higher taxes for this?" this non-lawyer would say a resounding NO NO NO.
post #4 of 7
I think there was a similar situation about 3 or 4 years ago... maybe in Virginia or near there. Walmart sucks and this stuff is just wrong, They want to evict people from the homes they love to put up a huge ugly white elephant of a building that will destroy any small businesses in the area and then close up and leave its bloated festering carcass to stink up what remains of the town it has destroyed.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
dang this makes me mad! (and the ironically funny thing about it is that my DP works for wal-mart! but only b/c he can't find anything better at the moment, and with a baby on the way, he can't exactly stay jobless.)

Here in florida, I've always been opposed to Em. Domain. Even in the case of a 94 yr old man in my town who didn't want to sell his house (that he built himself) so they could put in an unneccessary and not needed right turn lane on the road he lived on. They took his house anyway, and I beleive he died afew weeks later, but I don't know if he was still staying in the house or if he had gone somewhere else. They hadn't torn it down yet at the time that he died.

Another case here had another old man living on a main road between a Target/Office depo strip center and a Toys R us/Books-a-Million strip center (his property seperated their parking lots, but all the buildings faced the main road.) The gov took his land and sold it to the strip center so they could join their parking lots. that's the only reason they took it.

These are the reasons why I hate Eminent Domain. These cases left an impression on me that will last forever.

I think it's just sad that someone's land/home can just be taken away without due compensation and without concern for the person whose property was taken. And not to mention, they arent' even using it according to the law that they themselves are supposed to uphold. They are only supposed to take it for "Public Use" but instead sell it to the highest bidder so they can collect higher taxes, and more sales tax dollars.

disgusting! :Puke
post #6 of 7
&

That about sums it up. Apparently "personal property rights" are a thing of the past.

Kay
post #7 of 7

I'm thinking in Texas they have to pay

FMV plus 10% or some surplus over FMV. I think they have to really make it worth your while to put you through something that difficult.

Seizing someone's home to sell the property to a private corporation is immoral. I hope the home owners fight it all the way.
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