Property Rights

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers

January 16, 2010 in In the News
The Columbian (Vancouver)
Source: 
The Columbian (Vancouver)
Date: 
Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Study Highlights Abuses of Eminent Domain in WA

in Press releases

Seattle – Today Washington Policy Center (WPC) and Institute for Justice – Washington Chapter (IJ-WA) released a new study describing specific examples of how local governments in Washington have abused the Community Renewal Law to take private property from citizens.

Property owners and politicians request limits to land grabs

January 14, 2010 in In the News
Washington State Attorney General's Office
Source: 
Washington State Attorney General's Office
Date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Condemnation of Condemnation

January 14, 2010 in In the News
Washington State Wire
Source: 
Washington State Wire
Date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2010

When The Government Takes Your Home

January 2, 2010 in Publications

In its controversial five-to-four decision in the 2005 Kelo v. City of New London case, the U.S. Supreme Court gave government officials the power to take property from local homeowners and sell it to private corporations as part of a mandatory economic development plan. 

New Study Finds Washington Needs Eminent Domain Reform

in Press releases

Seattle—If you own a home, a farm, a small business or a piece of land in the state of Washington, you should be disturbed to learn the results of a new study released by the Washington Policy Center.

The report, “The Use and Abuse of Washington’s Community Renewal Law,” concludes that, because of Washington’s Community Renewal Law (CRL), home and small-business owners of the Evergreen State are not protected from eminent domain abuse—local government officials can take anyone’s property and sell it to a developer for private gain.

Protecting the People of Washington from Eminent Domain Abuse

March 1, 2008 in Publications

Each year, the state legislature considers a number of bills that address basic civil rights – that is, bills affecting an individual’s rights of personal liberty, rights with which the government cannot constitutionally interfere. One of those basic liberties is the right to own property. In the past two-and-a-half years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s dreadful decision in Kelo v. New London, the legislature has considered a number of bills designed to protect an individual’s right to own property without fear of the government taking it away and giving it to private developers.

Review of Homestead Property Tax Exemption Proposals

March 1, 2008 in Publications

On November 8, 2007 the state Supreme Court struck down the voter-approved 1% limit on increases in annual property tax collections. The legislature quickly overturned the court and re-enacted the 1% limit, but the court’s action put property tax relief center stage in the policy debate in Olympia.

Eminent Domain Bill Reflecting WPC Recommendation to Be Signed by Governor Tomorrow

in Press releases

Seattle - Governor Christine Gregoire will sign a new eminent domain law tomorrow that will open up the essentially secret meetings where local governments decide to use eminent domain.  Previously, property owners were forced to seek out postings on obscure government websites to discover whether their property faced condemnation.  HB 1458 provides citizens whose property is threatened with direct personal notice of the meetings where the fate of their property could be decided.

Let There Be 'Blight'

January 16, 2007 in Publications

The city of Burien, Wash., recently decided that a piece of property owned by the seven Strobel sisters that had long housed a popular diner-style restaurant was not upscale enough for the city's ambitious "Town Square" development, which will feature condos, shops, restaurants and offices. Rather than condemn the property for a private developer and risk a lawsuit, Burien came up with a plan--it would put a road through the property, and the city manager told his staff to "make damn sure" it did. When a subsequent survey revealed that the road would not affect the building itself, but only sideswipe a small corner of the property, the staff developed yet another site plan that put the road directly through the building. A trial court concluded that the city's actions might be "oppressive" and "an abuse of power"--but allowed the condemnation anyway. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Washington Supreme Court refused to hear the case.