October 2, 2006

"Initiative 933–It's About Fairness"

By "Initiative 933–It's About Fairness"

by Steven Geoffrey Gieseler

In what an editorial note refers to as part of a "property rights rebellion"–I think it's supposed to be a put down, but actually sounds pretty noble–Washington state will vote in November on a proposal of similar importance to those that will curb eminent domain abuse.

Like Oregon's Measure 37, Washington's Initiative 933 would require payment to property owners when burdensome government regulations decrease the value of land.  Seattle Times columnist Bruce Ramsey voiced his support for the measure in this piece from Sunday.  It's a fine column that does a nice job of explaining what I-933 is and why it is needed.  Ramsey's closing paragraph is perfect in its evisceration of the "it costs too much to follow the law" argument:

Really, that is what I-933 is about: fairness.  It is about government paying for what it takes.  Of course it will cost something, but that it is cheaper to steal is not an argument for theft.

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