Havre Daily News - News you can use

Eminent domain bill would set dangerous precedent

 


Eminent domain bill would set dangerous precedent

Editor:

The Montana House of Representatives recently voted to pass House Bill 198 onto the Senate, giving people the right to use eminent domain to condemn private land once the corporation is granted a certificate under the Major Facilities Siting Act. If the Senate allows this bill to become Montana law, it sets a dangerous precedent for the private property rights of all Montanans.

HB 198 would give the right of condemnation, without need for good-faith negotiations, to people who will use the land they condemn to make a profit. The taking of property for a person's profit differs fundamentally from a government taking property for the public's use. Why should Montanan landowners have to subsidize these profits for other entities? The profits earned by these people, who could be from another state or even another country, will be exported from the state as surely as the energy that flows through their structures crossing Montana's landscape!

A delicate balance exists between private property rights and the need for public taking of such property through eminent domain. Eminent domain should be a last resort, used by a governmental agency or a person only when negotiations with the owner of the desired property have broken down. When the landowner has no ability to negotiate the taking of their property, for a profit-making venture by a non-government entity, it is inevitable that the market value of that property, for the purpose it is being taken, will not be realized. The "market value" that the takers of the property will assess will be based on current agricultural land uses, not the industrial use for which the land is taken, and won't consider the added liability and loss of control of the property to which the landowner is subjected after condemnation.

Senators, please vote against HB 198 in the interest of Montanan landowners.

Sandy Barnick, Glendive Don Brown, Fort Peck Elner Eaton, Lindsay Darrell Garoutte, Wolf Point Tim Hess, Terry Tom Reeves, Glendive Chad Taylor, Wolf Point

Editor:

The Montana House of Representatives recently voted to pass House Bill 198 onto the Senate, giving people the right to use eminent domain to condemn private land once the corporation is granted a certificate under the Major Facilities Siting Act. If the Senate allows this bill to become Montana law, it sets a dangerous precedent for the private property rights of all Montanans.

HB 198 would give the right of condemnation, without need for good-faith negotiations, to people who will use the land they condemn to make a profit. The taking of property for a person's profit differs fundamentally from a government taking property for the public's use. Why should Montanan landowners have to subsidize these profits for other entities? The profits earned by these people, who could be from another state or even another country, will be exported from the state as surely as the energy that flows through their structures crossing Montana's landscape!

A delicate balance exists between private property rights and the need for public taking of such property through eminent domain. Eminent domain should be a last resort, used by a governmental agency or a person only when negotiations with the owner of the desired property have broken down. When the landowner has no ability to negotiate the taking of their property, for a profit-making venture by a non-government entity, it is inevitable that the market value of that property, for the purpose it is being taken, will not be realized. The "market value" that the takers of the property will assess will be based on current agricultural land uses, not the industrial use for which the land is taken, and won't consider the added liability and loss of control of the property to which the landowner is subjected after condemnation.

Senators, please vote against HB 198 in the interest of Montanan landowners.

Sandy Barnick, Glendive

Don Brown, Fort Peck

Elner Eaton, Lindsay

Darrell Garoutte, Wolf Point

Tim Hess, Terry

Tom Reeves, Glendive

Chad Taylor, Wolf Point

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021

Rendered 10/21/2021 15:27