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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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  • Goldwater Scholar Applauds Appeals Court Decision in Bailey Case, Warns Property Rights Still Not Safe in Arizona

    Posted on October 02, 2003 | Type: Press Release

    Goldwater Institute constitutional studies director Mark Brnovich applauded yesterday's decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Bailey v. Myers, which pitted brake shop owner Randy Bailey against the City of Mesa.

  • If a City Wants Your Property...

    Posted on July 28, 2003 | Type: In the News

    In the computer game SimCity, players construct their own utopias of bustling urban centers or quaint little towns. They can build streets, skyscrapers and stadiums, and decide where to place parks, police stations and power plants. The game invites players to "Play God, play mayor!"

  • Tempe on the Take

    Posted on June 29, 2003 | Type: Op-Ed | Author: Darcy Olsen

    Kenneth and Mary Ann Pillow have lived in their modest home since 1965, a home that will soon be razed if Tempe planners have their way. The Pillows' crime? Living in the path of a redevelopment plan (read: raise revenue), in which the city seizes land, sells it to developers at a discount, and then gets a cut of the developers' profits. Despite constitutional prohibitions against taking private property for private use, cities use their endless resources and the courts to intimidate couples like the Pillows. New legislation restricting cities' ability to flout the law should help homeowners protect their property. Here's to a fighting chance against city hall.

  • Report: Eminent-Domain Abuse Widespread

    Posted on April 22, 2003 | Type: In the News

    If you believe your home is your castle or that the government can only take it for public use, you should be warned otherwise, says a public-interest law firm that documented thousands of cases nationwide where governments have abused eminent domain.

  • Property Owners Threatened by Land Condemnations

    Posted on August 16, 2002 | Type: Press Release

    Phoenix, AZ-Are property owners in danger of having their land taken by the government to make way for hardware stores and strip malls? In a study released today by the Goldwater Institute, land use and zoning attorney Jordan Rose argues that takings for private use are on the upswing in Arizona. Rose blames the 1997 redevelopment statutes, saying they have "gutted the Arizona Constitution's prohibition against taking private property for private use."

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