Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Emminent Domain Counterattack

In this week's Crain's, Anne Michaud is reporting ($) on the mounting of a counterattack against the legislation, sponsored by Congressman James Sensenbrenner, that would withhold all Federal economic aid money if a state or locality exercised eminent domain for the sole purpose of economic development. The legislation, which has already passed the House, has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Leading the charge locally against the measure is Real Estate Board president Steve Spinola who argues that the bill swings the balance too far in the other direction. REBNY and the NYC Partnership are building a coalition against the measure and are targeting Senators Schumer and Clinton.

As we have argued elsewhere, there is a need for ED legislation but we're not sure that a total ban is appropriate. Arguments pro and con can be found on the Gotham Gazette website and we look forward to a vigorous debate on the issue at the state and city levels. While we understand those who think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of an almost total ban, it is important for these folks to be more sensitive to the seriousness of those who feel that ED has been used much too easily and callously.