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Eminent domain: Do you really Own anything?

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posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 10:38 AM
To answer the question above NO!!!!! you don't. You pay your property taxes but just think of them as rent to the government.

Under a process called eminent domain, the government can (and does) seize private property for public use - to build a road or a courthouse. But did you know the government can also seize your land for private use if they can prove that doing it will serve what's called "the public good"?

Cities across the country have been using eminent domain to force people off their land, so that private developers can build more expensive homes and offices that will pay more in property taxes than the buildings they're replacing.

Here is a link where the government is taking away a couples family home for the "Cities Good"

Here is an Article about the government seizing land in Alabaster, AL to build a Wal-Mart

Institute for Justice attorneys Berliner and Bullock remarked on the widespread and fraudulent use by governments of eminent domain:

"This is a nation-wide epidemic," says Berliner. "We have documented more than 10,000 instances of government taking property from one person to give it to another in just the last five years."

"It is fundamentally wrong, and contrary to the Constitution for the government to take property from one private owner, and hand it over to another private owner, just because the government thinks that person is going to make more productive use of the land," says Bullock.

"Everyone knows that property can be taken for a road. But nobody thinks that property can be taken to give it to their neighbor or the large business down the street for their economic benefit," adds Berliner. "People are shocked when they hear that this is going on around the country."

And this isn't happening just in small towns. In New York City, just a few blocks from Times Square, New York State has forced a man to sell a corner that his family owned for more than 100 years. And what's going up instead? A courthouse? A school? Nope. The new headquarters of The New York Times. . . .

Back in Lakewood, Ohio, Jim and Joanne Saleet are still waiting for their court decision. Most of their neighbors have agreed to sell if the project goes ahead. But the Saleets, plus a dozen others, are hanging tough.

"I thought I bought this place. But I guess I just leased it, until the city wants it," says Jim Saleet. "That's what makes me very angry. This is my dream home. And I'm gonna fight for it."

Just remeber property ownership is a figment of your imagination.

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 10:47 AM
I was just discussing this topic with my mother. I ended the conversation by saying "Ownership is just an illusion." This not only applies to their ability to seize your property, but the continuous taxing of that property.

"Lest you forget about your cozy little home, the very place you live in but you never f*cking own."- Corporate Avenger

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 10:49 AM
On a slightly off topic note, we never really own anything, anyway. We're just renting it. When we die, we don't get to take that parcel of land with us (the world would be a lot smaller if we did!

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 10:52 AM

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 10:57 AM
yeah, YOUR property, where you have to get the governments permission anytime you want to do something on YOUR property!

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 12:17 PM
BlackJackal: this is a great topic. While our focus here is typically on the federal government I think everyone shouldn’t overlook city governments, which can be the biggest fascist regimes around! Between building codes, permits (which cost $), zoning laws, and especially eminent domain. I don't live far from Lakewood, the city mentioned in one of those articles. My take is the city wants to get rid of the houses that aren’t the greatest one in the city. (They have a lot of rental houses that don't look nice and don't bring much income to the city). They want to remove them through eminent domain and clear the way for business (yet, there are other places for this development). It's crazy – they don’t have to take the houses away.

Another example: the city I lived in most of my life, until a few months ago, has a power plant in it (it's the one that caused the great blackout in August, btw) Due to power deregulation the city was going to lose tax dollars and needed to do something. So, through eminent domain, they seized about 20 houses, an apartment complex and a few small businesses to build a minor league ball park. Though it’s an Indians affiliate it’s only class A. They didn’t do this to build a road – or some other sort of infrastructure – they did it to build a ballpark. All while (2) 5-story office buildings next to it sit mostly empty. (and so many other vacant buildings) So, instead of bringing commerce to those office buildings, some of the largest around, where higher paying professionals could be employed (and generate income tax) they build a stadium, mostly staffed by volunteers (no income tax). And, there is ample green space left in the city where they could have built this stadium. Like in Lakewood, they could have done this elsewhere. And also like in Lakewood, the houses take away weren’t the nicest houses in the city.

Worst case scenario – these cities could raise property taxes and other fees, cut spending and live within their means (like we all have to do) rather than take someone’s land and home away!

[Edited on 16-1-2004 by Bob88]

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 02:37 PM
Here the state of Mississippi taking away land to build the Nissan Plant.

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 06:11 PM

Originally posted by Bob88
While our focus here is typically on the federal government I think everyone shouldn’t overlook city governments, which can be the biggest fascist regimes around!

No shyt. I used to work in a small sign shop. You wouldn't belive the hassle it was to make a sign and put it up downtown.

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 08:02 PM
Geez, do you guys really live in the land of the free, home of the brave???

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 08:42 PM
LOL, Bandit. It's not as bad as it seems. But, crap like this happens. IMHO, local government, specially in the 'burbs, try to outdo each other and spending gets out of hand, they then 're-zone' for business, buy up houses, etc, just get to the business (and tax base) into the city. But, it's not like these cities just take the houses - in the example I gave about the city I used to live in - the homeowners 'sold' their houses for a nice chunk of change to the city/developer. More than they would have gotten otherwise. Most were happy about it infact.

The example with that city, Lakewood, cited by BlackJackal, is a different story. While the homeowners might be somewhat happy about it, it displaced a lot of people living in those house because they were renting them. They gain nothing and have to find a new place to live.

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 08:57 PM
This seems like a silly question until you find out that we do not “own” anything. Ownership implies that property belongs to you and that nobody but you has the right to sell or otherwise transfer that ownership to another party. We used to be able to own property in America; the right to do so was perhaps the most important of protections built into our Constitution. However, somewhere along the line ownership of our property was conveyed to government. We are allowed to live on their property until we stop paying taxes, at which time government has given itself the right to sell it and move you out by force, if necessary. The ability to dispose of property is the ultimate test of who really owns it.

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 08:57 PM
check out stuff by stephen ames jr..on most property you think you own, u are probably listed as a tenant..if u read the whole lease. the u.s. is only a 'free' country because of the good graces of out govt.....and now with that great and protective patriot acts..we are even free-er... look up the 'act' 2 of the many definitions: -to put on a false show, pretend- -a pretense: false show- funny that they choose that terminology.....

posted on Jan, 16 2004 @ 11:55 PM
I remember hearing once that apparently all land in the UK belongs to the Crown. I don't know how true it is, but is it is, it's no wonder the old reptiles are so rich

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