Friday, September 2, 2011

The Shame of Kelo

The 2005 Supreme Court decision Kelo vs. New London broadened municipalities' power to condemn property. Previously the takings clause had been used primarily to convert underused private property for some public use. Kelo allowed the city to give the property to another private developer, on the theory that this would generate tax revenue for the city.

It's now six years later. How much tax revenue has been generated? You might guess the answer: zero. But it gets worse:

Now, we learn from the local newspaper, The Day, that following the hurricane Irene, the city has designated the Fort Trumbull redevelopment site as a place to dump vegetation debris.

Hopefully this is just a temporary situation. Nonetheless, the fact that the site was originally condemned in 2000, the path cleared for development in 2005, and is now being used as a temporary dump is pretty clear evidence that the purported benefits from this taking will not be soon in coming.

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