Missouri … The State That Takes Your Property!
In today’s St. Louis Business Journal, an article points out that Missouri is failing in pursuing comprehensive eminent domain reform. The Castle Coalition gave Missouri a D in its effort to stop eminent domain especially government-sanctioned eminent domain on the local level:
House Bill 1944, effective last August, which specified that property
cannot be condemned "solely" for economic development and ends the
prior practice of letting private developers initiate condemnations on
their own behalf, continues to allow government agencies to take
private property for the use of other private parties for any other
justification. The new law "continues to let cities condemn whole
neighborhoods as ‘blighted’ based on vague, subjective factors,"
according to the report, such as "inadequate street layout," "unsafe
conditions" and "obsolete platting."
The weakness of HB 1944 was pointed out by Tim Lee and Shaida Dezfuli last year. Hopefully, this rating would put lawmakers on notice to pass tougher legislation when they convene in January for the regular session. Also, this should be a wake-up call for local residents in cities across the state who are concerned about protecting their own property. The state of Missouri should feel shamed for not standing for property owners in this state and leaving them at the mercy of developers!