Earlier this week, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour vetoed a bill, overwhelmingly passed by the legislature, that would have enacted sweeping property rights reform that would limit the state and local government’s abuse of eminent domain. Gov. Barbour opposed the legislation because the bill would prohibit taking private property for private development as a means to increase tax revenue. The Governor believes it would cripple Mississippi’s ability to attract companies and manufacturers to the state
The justification of “economic development” for the public force of eminent domain is misguiding. Economic development can and has occurred regularly without the forced taking of a private citizens home or business. Legislation like HB 803 promotes further investment as investors are assured that their property will not be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Yesterday, the state house overrode Barbour’s veto by a wide margin, 101-19, and tomorrow the senate is expected to attempt an override.
43 states have enacted eminent domain reform and it is time for Mississippi to step up and protect property owners from these egregious takings.
Click here to read Property Rights Alliance’s letter to MS state senate.