Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Eminent Domain Rears Its Ugly Head in Florida
Florida's Riviera Beach is a poor, predominantly black, coastal community that intends to revitalize its economy by using eminent domain, if necessary, to displace about 6,000 local residents and build a billion-dollar waterfront yachting and housing complex
The entire article is here.
6,000 of the poorer residents will be moved in order for rich or soon-to-be rich developers to move in. The real lesson here is not that communities sometimes need to exercise eminent domain to provide for better services, improved transportation, etc. But rather, eminent domain seems to be being exercised more frequently for profit motives to the benefit of the wealthy and well connected and the great detriment of the poor or middle class.
Imagine striving and working for years to have a respectable home in a decent location, or maybe not so decent it seems. Someone with money comes along and sells to your local government the idea of lining the tax coffers by developing your property for commercial purposes. You are given a nominal sum compared to the real worth of your property. The develops and local government get rich(er).
The poor and middle classes will be chased off thier property every time a developer can convince a local government to follow his/her plan.
Facing South discusses similar problems with eminent domain and TVA.
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