August 9, 2006

Loving baseball, Supreme Court in Ohio

By Loving baseball, Supreme Court in Ohio

Raymond J. Keating writes in the Cincinnati Enquirer to praise the Ohio Supreme Court's strong defense of private property rights.

It was the first big state decision since the U.S. Supreme Court in last year's Kelo case ignored the U.S. Constitution, allowing politicians to invoke eminent domain for pretty much any reason they wanted. But at least the court's majority left the door open for states wishing to be more respectful of property rights. That's exactly what a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court was.

But isn't this bad for local economies? A lawyer for one developer was quoted declaring: "This is a sad day for Norwood and other Ohio cities desperately trying to revitalize their communities." Norwood officials were counting on added tax revenues.

Undermining property rights, though, is not good for the economy. After all, the first duty of government is to protect private property, not steal it. Why would entrepreneurs set up shop in a place where government abuses property rights?

If officials across Ohio are serious about economic growth, then rather than abusing eminent domain powers, why not provide tax and regulatory relief? For example, those local income taxes across Ohio put the state at a competitive disadvantage.

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