Q:

What are the pros to eminent domain?

A:

Eminent domain allows cities and other government entities to conduct major construction projects that require property that the entities do not already own. These types of projects often include stadiums and multi-use complexes that have the potential to contribute significant tax revenues to those entities.

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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of local government entities to take over properties for the purposes of economic development, as long as they provide the former owners of those properties with fair market value in the transaction. The specific case featured the condemning of homes by the city of New London, Conn., in order to allow private entities to develop the area. The condemned homes had significantly lower property tax values than the private development was proposed to have.

The advantages of eminent domain are not universally supported. Because eminent domain allows the government to take away property from citizens, the process causes anger and frustration, as the local government entity is also in charge of setting the "fair market value" of the property; however, the end result of the transaction, which is generally a newer, more attractive (and more lucrative) property, benefits the community, which serves as the motivation for eminent domain.

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