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Property Rights

A Mesa, Arizona businessman learned about eminent domain abuse the hard way. When Bailey said he didn’t want to sell his family-owned brake shop, the city tried to use its power of eminent domain to take his property and give it to a local developer in the name of economic development. Bailey won in court, and Arizona passed Proposition 207 to help protect private property from such abuse. The Goldwater Institute developed Proposition 207 and is monitoring its success, and is committed to ensuring that government respects private property.

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  • Arizona Law Enforcement Confiscates $64.5 Million of Private Property, Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws Need Reform

    Posted on November 15, 2004 | Type: Press Release

    PHOENIX-Arizona law enforcement agencies have used a legal tactic known as civil asset forfeiture to confiscate over $64.5 million of private property since 2000, a new Goldwater Institute report documents. Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to confiscate property connected to a crime without ever filing criminal charges against the property owner.

  • Seattle Proves Eminent Domain Not Necessary For Revitalization

    Posted on July 10, 2004 | Type: Op-Ed

    Tony Boccaccio is a small-business owner in Tempe, Arizona. Like many successful business owners throughout the country, he is planning additions and improvements to his property. Expanding his office and warehouse space is estimated to cost $1 million. As his business grows, you would think that Mr. Boccaccio has little to worry about as he lives the American dream. However, Tempe city planners have other ideas.

  • Condemning Condemnation: Alternatives to Eminent Domain

    Posted on June 14, 2004 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Mark Brnovich

    The power of eminent domain was granted to governments for the purpose of constructing public infrastructure but has increasingly been used as a redevelopment tool to transfer private property from one owner to another. Although there are legitimate reasons for invoking eminent domain, the current practice of condemning private property in the name of redevelopment is rarely about building public infrastructure and regularly about turning areas that produce little tax revenue into high revenue generators. Taking a property owner's brake shop or barber shop because it is too small, too old, too ugly, or another party has a "better" use for the land violates fundamental constitutional principles, creates uncertainty about property rights, and can deter individuals from opening or expanding their businesses.

  • Protecting Private Property: The Case for Vested Property Rights

    Posted on March 01, 2004 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jordan R. Rose

    Many Arizona property owners have learned the hard way that municipalities are free to change zoning classifications and thereby "downzone" parcels of land. Also, local governments may change the zoning restrictions or requirements included in zoning ordinances. Such government actions frequently diminish the value of landowner's properties and destroy investments.

  • Statewide Ban an Attack on Property Rights

    Posted on January 23, 2004 | Type: Op-Ed | Author: Mark Brnovich

    Arizonans Concerned about Smoking is pushing a statewide smoking ban in Arizona's private restaurants and bars. Smokers and nonsmokers are up in arms, debating which group's rights should triumph.

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