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Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information

Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
or 601-977-4154
email: ggibson@msfb.org

Farm Bureau applauds eminent domain bill progress

JACKSON – A bill designed to protect the rights of landowners from eminent domain proceedings has moved out of committee and will be voted on by the full senate. Senate Bill 2230 prevents land from being taken from landowners for economic development purposes.

The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation has long supported the rights of private property owners and has endorsed this bill as a means of ensuring those rights.

Farm Bureau President David Waide said, “Protecting private property rights is a priority of Farm Bureau and you can be assured that we will make every effort possible to strengthen our eminent domain law in order to protect private landowners.”

According to Farm Bureau, the property rights of every Mississippian are subject to abuse under our current eminent domain law due to the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Kelo vs the City of New London. The Supreme Court ruled in that decision that the city of New London, CT, could take, through eminent domain proceedings, the private property of an individual for the sole purpose of economic development – in this case, building a shopping mall. The worst part is that after displacing 78 families, four years and 78 million taxpayer dollars later, the property sits vacant.

Traditionally, eminent domain has been used to secure land for highways, utilities, and other public uses, and Farm Bureau supports this as a true public use.

“The Kelo ruling means that all private land can be taken and given to another private party just because that private party wants to be able to make more money and the government wants to generate more tax revenue,” said Waide. “We don’t think that’s fair, and we don’t think that’s what was intended by our founding fathers.”

Since the Court’s decision in 2005, forty-two states, including Connecticut, have passed laws designed to negate the Kelo decision. Mississippi is one of only eight states that have failed to pass a single bill improving landowners’ rights to own property.

 

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The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm organization with more than 200,000 member-families statewide.  There are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of Mississippi 's economy.  Headquartered in Jackson , the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.  For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at www.msfb.com.

© 2007 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation