Citizen’s Issue Summary: Property Rights


Special interest groups have strongly resisted efforts to compensate property owners when government effectively “takes” their property through regulation. Such groups claim that reducing the value of property by regulation does not constitute a “taking,” only an actual seizure of property counts. They also claim that if government is forced to compensate property owners for regulatory takings, then environmental protection will become too costly. In addition, these groups claim that compensating property owners is nothing more than a taxpayer- funded bailout for people trying to destroy the environment.

… or Fiction?

Special interest groups do not want Americans to know that the courts have recognized the concept of regulatory takings. In addition, there is no reason why paying a fair price to property owners would make environmental protection too costly. The federal government already owns almost 30 percent of all the land in the United States. If the government feels that certain land is needed for environmental reasons, it can sell land it does not want and use the money raised to compensate property owners. Special interest groups also ignore the fact that average citizens are often the victim of regulatory takings, and they cannot afford to have their property values reduced. In most cases these citizens are simply trying to use their property in a reasonable manner, not to “destroy” the environment.

Giving just compensation to Americans is only fair.

Property Rights:

The End of Private Property?

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