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FreedomWorks, a prominent limited government grassroots organization with members across the nation, today joined with homeowners, small business owners, responsible developers and private citizens in calling for a ‘YES’ vote on Proposal 4, the measure to protect property rights in Michigan’s Constitution.
“The right to own property is a bedrock of our personal freedom and today we are standing alongside homeowners, small-businesses and ethical developers who understand that strong and enshrined property rights are good business and good policy,” said Randall Thompson, FreedomWorks’ Michigan state director. “Government should not have the power to take someone’s private property and turn it over to another private third party just so they can make a buck off of it. That’s not a legitimate public use; that’s a public abuse.”
Proposal 4, which is on the Nov. 7th General Election ballot, is a proposed constitutional amendment initiated by the Michigan Legislature in response to a broad-reaching U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that held that local governments can take someone’s home and turn it over to a private developer. Specifically, Proposal 4 would:
1. Prohibit local and state governments from using eminent domain for economic development. That is, they can’t take your home and give it to someone else just so they can build a bigger home or a strip-mall, which results in more taxes;
2. Require government to pay at least 125 percent of a property’s fair market value if that property is someone’s primary residence and is taken for a legitimate public use like a road or school; and,
3. Put the burden of proof on local government to prove that an individual property is blighted, and do so on a property-by-property basis. Currently, government can declare whole neighborhoods as blighted even when many of the properties in the area are well-kept, and homeowners are forced to incur the cost and trouble of proving their property is not blighted.
About the Protect Our Property Rights Coalition
Protect Our Property Rights Coalition is supported by a broad cross section of Michigan – homeowners, developers, real estate agents, small businesses and others who believe that government should not have carte blanche power to take private property under eminent domain solely for economic development purposes. Key stakeholders in this coalition include: The Michigan Association of Realtors, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Association of Home Builders, and the National Federation of Independent Business.