Property taxes are a little different. They are paid to the county government for upkeep on roads, schools and other things. In this case, they can now take your property and give it to a private developer for a mall or other commercial venture supposedly for the greater public good. This is wrong. Of course, inflated property taxes are wrong too.Squawker said:They have been doing that for years through property taxes, swampkritter. Just another way to put the screws to people who don't have the money to fight it.
All a city or county government has to do to reduce the amount of money they pay for a piece of property they steal is to declare it a blight on the community and condemn it. The value of the property drops dramatically and the local government buys it for next to nothing.Cougar said:Actually a mall might not stand up in court... however, the City is using parcels of the 90 acre plot to develop commercially (next to the new Pfizer plant I believe).
They are building parking lots, condos and a community center. Apparently, this was enough to hold up in the Supreme Court. I am not comfortable with the decision as well b/c of the future implications and possible abuse. However, the Court can not rule on future possiblities or speculation.
Basically, we are going to now see a lot of court cases similar to this one in the coming years. States and localities are going to try and put 'air tight' economic development plans together assuming each case is going straight to the High Court. One can only hope that each person is justly compensated.
Hours after the court's 5-4 ruling came down, Rep. Frank Corte Jr., R-San Antonio, said he would seek "to defend the rights of property owners in Texas" by proposing a state constitutional amendment limiting local powers of eminent domain, or condemnation.
Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Robert Eckels offered assurances that the city and county do not intend to condemn land for private development projects.
But officials in the beachfront town of Freeport, south of Houston, said they would move aggressively to condemn property owned by two seafood companies to clear the way for an $8 million private marina.