Michigan Ballot Initiative: Proposal 4

This coming November we will see five (5) proposals on our Michigan ballot. Not that many proposals when you compare our state ballot to other states.

There is one proposal, however, that has yet to really see the light of the campaign trail, as it were. Proposal 4 is a proposed state constitutional amendment to define how and when municipalities can exercise eminent domain to seize private property, homes, or businesses. It also gives clearer definition on how classify a property as blighted for the purposes of eminent domain.

The long story short: Vote Yes on Proposal 4.

More information after the jump.

In June 2005, the US Supreme Court gave a split decision called the Kelo decision that allowed a community in New England to grab property from one private property owner and give it to a developer. The reason the community decided on this Robin Hood in reverse tactic was to increase their tax revenue base. As misguided as the Supreme Court was in ruling in favor of the community, the court made it very clear that this is a state’s rights issue and ruled in such a way that allowed individual states the ability to define how eminent domain issues are to be resolved.

Currently, a municipality in Michigan, on their own or at the behest of a developer, could define a property blighted and the burden of proof lies on the property owner to show it is not blighted. Proposal 4 puts the burden of proof on the municipality to define why a property is blighted. Defining a property as blighted, currently, allows the municipality to begin the proceedings of exercising eminent domain to seize the property and do with it as they wish.

CastleCoalition.com is a site dedicated to eminent domain abuses across the nation. They have an embedded map that shows where, when and what the abuses are.

The language for all of the 2006 ballot proposals are located here.

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12 Responses to Michigan Ballot Initiative: Proposal 4

  1. The Kelo decision is a bad law that enables bad policy.

    There is no constitutional basis for the decision. The precedent institutionalizes an abuse of power by the legislative and executive branches while at the same time it legitimizes judical abuse of power. Proposals like Michigan’s Proposal 4 present a rare opportunity for voters to rebel against the establishment of a permanent ruling class against the the people. Vote Yes on Proposal 4!!

  2. If property is “blight” then taking it could be for the public good, but there’s no reason why municipalities can’t prove it if it is. Punishment is for the public good and that requires proof on the part of the government. The same standard should be in place for eminent domain.

    No matter where you are on the political spectrum you should Vote Yes! Conservatives should vote yes, because you don’t want the government to have too much power, and Liberals should vote yes, because we only like big government when it benefits the poor and the common people, not big business.

  3. I’m not that politically saavy, so I need very CLEAR explanations. i.e., I want to make it harder for govt to take private property. So do I vote yes or no on prop 4? BOTTOM LINE, your website should have these words: VOTING “YES’ MEANS: (short explanation), and VOTING “NO” MEANS: (short explanation)

  4. J. Gargon,

    As a Realtor, I am always in favor of private property rights. Poke around this blog and you will find a whole bunch of information on how buy and sell property. I advocate for the passage of Prop 4 to protect private property owners’ rights.

    Long story short part 2: Vote yes on Prop 4 to protect your property from seizure by your municipality.

  5. T Smeenge,

    This is an amendment to the State of Michigan’s Constitution. Therefore, it affects the state of Michigan only.

    Since the court decided that this is a states’ rights issue, the fed’s should abide by the states’ laws concerning eminent domain.

  6. I think we should all vote yes because we need to let our government to the best for us and we need to let it take and sell our properety if they really need it. BONNG
    yea thats right!!
    b

  7. I think we should all vote yes because we need to let our government to the best for us and we need to let it take and sell our properety if they really need it.

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