Article: are critical area buffers unconstitutional?

Today, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law published my article, Are Critical Area Buffers Unconstitutional? Demystifying The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions. Although the article focuses on developments in Washington state law, it contains arguments relevant to property rights practitioners elsewhere. For example, the article explains why a demand that a landowner dedicate a “buffer area” takes valuable property rights. It also dispels the mistaken belief that conditions imposed pursuant to generally applicable legislation should be subject less rigorous scrutiny than all other conditions.

Seattle’s tax on achievement is a Trojan Horse that threatens the poor and middle class

One of the things that makes Washington’s legal landscape so unique is that the state constitution was drafted by people who, having just witnessed the Civil War, were wary of state and federal government. As a result, our constitution provides many protections rarely found elsewhere in the country, such as a provision prohibiting the government from targeting political minorities to bear uneven tax burdens. Specifically, Article VII, Section I of the Washington State Constitution states that “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property … The word ‘property’ as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.”

For nearly a century, the Washington’s Supreme Court has repeatedly held that income is property and, therefore, the constitution prohibits targeted income taxes. And all attempts to change this constitutional provision through the courts, legislature, and via popular initiative have failed. Indeed, our state’s top-to-bottom economy has benefitted from this constitutional barrier to targeted income taxes, attracting large and high-paying employers.

Should a business owner recover economic damages when the government condemns his property?

In a brief filed earlier today, PLF attorneys urge the U.S. Supreme Court to answer this important question concerning the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that property shall not be taken without … ›

Should legislative property demands be exempt from constitutional scrutiny?

The answer to that question seems rather obvious to property owners—if the government demands that you give up a portion of your property in exchange for a development permit, why … ›

PLF asks Louisiana Supreme Court to enforce constitutional limits on the exercise of eminent domain

The government’s authority to take private property without the owner’s consent is a terrible and awesome power. Aware of this, the nation’s founders placed two key restrictions on its exercise: that government … ›

Washington court rules that the right to use one's property is not protected by the constitution

Earlier this week, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued its decision in Olympic Stewardship Foundation v. State of Washington Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, in which PLF submitted … ›

New PLF petition highlights the national importance of the Murr case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the regulatory takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin, is expected to come down any day. At issue in that case is the so-called “relevant parcel” question, … ›

PLF petitions for rehearing in Utah prairie dog case

This morning, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—our challenge to the federal government’s constitutional … ›

Supreme Court calls for the Solicitor General's views on Rinehart v. California

This morning, the Supreme Court asked the United States’ Solicitor General to weigh in on Rinehart v. California, PLF’s challenge to California’s suction dredge mining ban. The case raises significant … ›

Brand Logo for the blog page

Article: are critical area buffers unconstitutional?

Today, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law published my article, Are Critical Area Buffers Unconstitutional? Demystifying The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions. Although the article focuses on developments in Washington state law, it contains arguments relevant to property rights practitioners elsewhere. For example, the article explains why a demand that a landowner dedicate a “buffer area” takes valuable property rights. It also dispels the mistaken belief that conditions imposed pursuant to generally applicable legislation should be subject less rigorous scrutiny than all other conditions.

Seattle’s tax on achievement is a Trojan Horse that threatens the poor and middle class

One of the things that makes Washington’s legal landscape so unique is that the state constitution was drafted by people who, having just witnessed the Civil War, were wary of state and federal government. As a result, our constitution provides many protections rarely found elsewhere in the country, such as a provision prohibiting the government from targeting political minorities to bear uneven tax burdens. Specifically, Article VII, Section I of the Washington State Constitution states that “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property … The word ‘property’ as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.”

For nearly a century, the Washington’s Supreme Court has repeatedly held that income is property and, therefore, the constitution prohibits targeted income taxes. And all attempts to change this constitutional provision through the courts, legislature, and via popular initiative have failed. Indeed, our state’s top-to-bottom economy has benefitted from this constitutional barrier to targeted income taxes, attracting large and high-paying employers.

Should a business owner recover economic damages when the government condemns his property?

In a brief filed earlier today, PLF attorneys urge the U.S. Supreme Court to answer this important question concerning the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that property shall not be taken without … ›

Should legislative property demands be exempt from constitutional scrutiny?

The answer to that question seems rather obvious to property owners—if the government demands that you give up a portion of your property in exchange for a development permit, why … ›

PLF asks Louisiana Supreme Court to enforce constitutional limits on the exercise of eminent domain

The government’s authority to take private property without the owner’s consent is a terrible and awesome power. Aware of this, the nation’s founders placed two key restrictions on its exercise: that government … ›

Washington court rules that the right to use one's property is not protected by the constitution

Earlier this week, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued its decision in Olympic Stewardship Foundation v. State of Washington Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, in which PLF submitted … ›

New PLF petition highlights the national importance of the Murr case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the regulatory takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin, is expected to come down any day. At issue in that case is the so-called “relevant parcel” question, … ›

PLF petitions for rehearing in Utah prairie dog case

This morning, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—our challenge to the federal government’s constitutional … ›

Supreme Court calls for the Solicitor General's views on Rinehart v. California

This morning, the Supreme Court asked the United States’ Solicitor General to weigh in on Rinehart v. California, PLF’s challenge to California’s suction dredge mining ban. The case raises significant … ›

The Morning Docket

Stay up to date with the Morning Docket, a weekly highlight of PLF's best articles, videos, and podcasts.

Article: are critical area buffers unconstitutional?

Today, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law published my article, Are Critical Area Buffers Unconstitutional? Demystifying The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions. Although the article focuses on developments in Washington state law, it contains arguments relevant to property rights practitioners elsewhere. For example, the article explains why a demand that a landowner dedicate a “buffer area” takes valuable property rights. It also dispels the mistaken belief that conditions imposed pursuant to generally applicable legislation should be subject less rigorous scrutiny than all other conditions.

Seattle’s tax on achievement is a Trojan Horse that threatens the poor and middle class

One of the things that makes Washington’s legal landscape so unique is that the state constitution was drafted by people who, having just witnessed the Civil War, were wary of state and federal government. As a result, our constitution provides many protections rarely found elsewhere in the country, such as a provision prohibiting the government from targeting political minorities to bear uneven tax burdens. Specifically, Article VII, Section I of the Washington State Constitution states that “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property … The word ‘property’ as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.”

For nearly a century, the Washington’s Supreme Court has repeatedly held that income is property and, therefore, the constitution prohibits targeted income taxes. And all attempts to change this constitutional provision through the courts, legislature, and via popular initiative have failed. Indeed, our state’s top-to-bottom economy has benefitted from this constitutional barrier to targeted income taxes, attracting large and high-paying employers.

Should a business owner recover economic damages when the government condemns his property?

In a brief filed earlier today, PLF attorneys urge the U.S. Supreme Court to answer this important question concerning the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that property shall not be taken without … ›

Should legislative property demands be exempt from constitutional scrutiny?

The answer to that question seems rather obvious to property owners—if the government demands that you give up a portion of your property in exchange for a development permit, why … ›

PLF asks Louisiana Supreme Court to enforce constitutional limits on the exercise of eminent domain

The government’s authority to take private property without the owner’s consent is a terrible and awesome power. Aware of this, the nation’s founders placed two key restrictions on its exercise: that government … ›

Washington court rules that the right to use one's property is not protected by the constitution

Earlier this week, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued its decision in Olympic Stewardship Foundation v. State of Washington Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, in which PLF submitted … ›

New PLF petition highlights the national importance of the Murr case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the regulatory takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin, is expected to come down any day. At issue in that case is the so-called “relevant parcel” question, … ›

PLF petitions for rehearing in Utah prairie dog case

This morning, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—our challenge to the federal government’s constitutional … ›

Supreme Court calls for the Solicitor General's views on Rinehart v. California

This morning, the Supreme Court asked the United States’ Solicitor General to weigh in on Rinehart v. California, PLF’s challenge to California’s suction dredge mining ban. The case raises significant … ›

Article: are critical area buffers unconstitutional?

Today, the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law published my article, Are Critical Area Buffers Unconstitutional? Demystifying The Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions. Although the article focuses on developments in Washington state law, it contains arguments relevant to property rights practitioners elsewhere. For example, the article explains why a demand that a landowner dedicate a “buffer area” takes valuable property rights. It also dispels the mistaken belief that conditions imposed pursuant to generally applicable legislation should be subject less rigorous scrutiny than all other conditions.

Seattle’s tax on achievement is a Trojan Horse that threatens the poor and middle class

One of the things that makes Washington’s legal landscape so unique is that the state constitution was drafted by people who, having just witnessed the Civil War, were wary of state and federal government. As a result, our constitution provides many protections rarely found elsewhere in the country, such as a provision prohibiting the government from targeting political minorities to bear uneven tax burdens. Specifically, Article VII, Section I of the Washington State Constitution states that “all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property … The word ‘property’ as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.”

For nearly a century, the Washington’s Supreme Court has repeatedly held that income is property and, therefore, the constitution prohibits targeted income taxes. And all attempts to change this constitutional provision through the courts, legislature, and via popular initiative have failed. Indeed, our state’s top-to-bottom economy has benefitted from this constitutional barrier to targeted income taxes, attracting large and high-paying employers.

Should a business owner recover economic damages when the government condemns his property?

In a brief filed earlier today, PLF attorneys urge the U.S. Supreme Court to answer this important question concerning the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that property shall not be taken without … ›

Should legislative property demands be exempt from constitutional scrutiny?

The answer to that question seems rather obvious to property owners—if the government demands that you give up a portion of your property in exchange for a development permit, why … ›

PLF asks Louisiana Supreme Court to enforce constitutional limits on the exercise of eminent domain

The government’s authority to take private property without the owner’s consent is a terrible and awesome power. Aware of this, the nation’s founders placed two key restrictions on its exercise: that government … ›

Washington court rules that the right to use one's property is not protected by the constitution

Earlier this week, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued its decision in Olympic Stewardship Foundation v. State of Washington Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office, in which PLF submitted … ›

New PLF petition highlights the national importance of the Murr case

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the regulatory takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin, is expected to come down any day. At issue in that case is the so-called “relevant parcel” question, … ›

PLF petitions for rehearing in Utah prairie dog case

This morning, we filed a petition for rehearing en banc in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service—our challenge to the federal government’s constitutional … ›

Supreme Court calls for the Solicitor General's views on Rinehart v. California

This morning, the Supreme Court asked the United States’ Solicitor General to weigh in on Rinehart v. California, PLF’s challenge to California’s suction dredge mining ban. The case raises significant … ›