January 19, 2008

Why the Tourkakis case matters

By Why the Tourkakis case matters

by Timothy Sandefur

Here’s a good story from Kansas City's channel 4 news (be sure to click on "video") that explains why the Tourkakis eminent domain case is so important. If the Missouri Supreme Court expands the state law known as the TIF Act to allow not only charter cities but all cities, to use eminent domain for redevelopment, homeowners in small towns like Sugar Creek face the condemnation of their homes for the benefit of private developers.

(The news story is a little bit misleading in that it says the question in the Tourkakis case is about whether small non-charter cities can "use eminent domain." Actually, the case is only about whether they can use eminent domain for redevelopment under the TIF Act. All cities have the power to use eminent domain to build roads or schools or other public uses, and this case would not affect that.)

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