Between 1998 and 2002, there were over 10,000 cases of actual or threatened government takings of private property for purposes of transferring property to other private owners. However, the practice of using local governments as real estate brokers for private developers may be coming to an end.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument this week on the case Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut. The case marks the first time in nearly 50 years that the Supreme Court has considered the meaning of the Public Use Clause of the 5th Amendment. The court's decision will make history and affect property owners around the nation.
Accordingly, government officials in Tempe, Phoenix and other Arizona municipalities should consider alternatives to economic redevelopment that don't involve resorting to condemnation. Examples of successful redevelopment projects and alternatives to eminent domain are provided in my policy report, Condemning Condemnation: Alternatives to Eminent Domain.