Sunday, April 16, 2006

Louisiana Eminent Domain Abuse

In Louisiana, private property can be taken and transferred to another owner. Louisiana calls this Expropriation, which means to take without asking .

In 2001, Self-serving Legislation, House Bill 1136 by Rep. Francis C. Thompson allowed sale of land taken by Eminent Domain to Third Party without first offering to sell back to original owner. Thompson is currently selling lakefront lots for personal gain.

Thompson’s buddy, Sen. Ben Nevers creator of the Washington Parish Reservoir is proposing the taking of Cemeteries, Churches, and Ancestral homes.

Sen. Nevers also seems to be a two faced supporter of Senate Bill 1, Legislation preventing property from being taken for Economic Development, and has proposed legislation to the contrary.

Sen. Nevers is proposing Senate Bill 639 creating the Washington Parish Economic Development Commission with Expropriation Powers to take and sell property taken by his appointed members.

The broad taxing authority granted in this Legislation is essentially "taxation without representation" with an appointed commission able to obtain Millions in Bond Money.

James Moore

Letter to the Local and Municipal Affairs Committee

Dear Senator Fields:

As a citizen of Washington Parish, I wish to let all of you know that I and many others in my parish oppose SB 639 in its current form. The abuse of Eminent Domain is alive and well in Washington Parish in regards to the Washington Parish reservoir, and the 13 other reservoir districts with expropriation powers in our state.

To create an Economic Development District with expropriation powers will only perpetuate the problem of the abuse that currently exists. I believe that economic development can occur without trampling on the property rights of our citizens.

The citizens of Washington Parish are not opposed to economic development and growth; however, we are opposed to the use of Eminent Domain for economic development, and unnecessary purposes.

Regretfully, there are those who abuse the Eminent Domain law. SB 639 in its current form will give unlimited expropriation powers to an appointed commission. SB 639 is in direct conflict with SB 1 that is currently before a committee.

The property owners of Washington Parish might as well consider themselves the same as citizens of Cuba, China or some other communist country where you can have use of your property until someone else wants to take it from you.

I promise you that the majority of the citizens of Washington Parish do not know that this bill gives expropriation powers to a commission. I'm sure Senator Nevers posted a legal notice; however, he didn't mention the use of Eminent Domain in the notice.

Please take the time to read this dangerous bill, and put yourselves in the shoes of those who it will affect.

I ask that you amend SB 639 by removing the expropriation powers, and to give the voters of Washington Parish the opportunity to select their own commissioners by ballot. I believe this is a reasonable request.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jalon Pittman Beech

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