Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Kelo Decision In Kansas City

You might remember the Kelo decision gave a rubber stamp to government's ability to condemn properties for the use of a private party.

An interesting example of that is at work here in Kansas City as the Dunn Company is being slapped around by the local condemnation panel, which has recommended a value of $63 to $77 a square foot for the block bound by 10th, Locust, 11th and Cherry Streets.

I guess I sympathize a little with the Dunn Company... it's hard to see how a mostly vacant parking lot is worth that. At the top end, that means that this lot should be charging $7,000 per year per parking space. I doubt they're getting that, and I doubt Dunn's getting a fair deal.

On the other hand, how many entrepreneurs have the ability to walk to a City Council member and say "Hey, would you get that property condemned for me?" Now compare that number to how many are likely to be on the short end of that stick.

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