ON-Lion Letter
Contrary to arguments made by those sympathetic to exercises of governmental eminent-domain power, strong state-legislative protections against eminent-domain abuses have no adverse effects on economic growth, a January study by the Institute for Justice (IJ) in Arlington, Va., finds.

After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld cities' use of eminent domain for private development in 2005's infamous Kelo v. City of New London case, 42 states passed some type of eminent-domain reform.  Those who favor eminent domain for private development predicted, and continue to predict, dire economic consequences from reform -- including fewer jobs and lower tax revenues.

Using rigorous statistical methods, however, Dick M. Carpenter II and John K. Ross examined economic indicators between states with varying degrees of reform and looked at pre- and post-reform trends.  Carpenter is IJ's director of strategic research.  Ross is an IJ research associate.

Among other things, they looked at the numbers of construction jobs and building permits, as well as property-tax revenues.  They found that even the strongest reforms have caused no negative economic consequences.

"[A]lthough some politicians, bureaucrats and developers continue to predict economic doomsday, the results in this report show reality bears no resemblance to the gloomy forecasts," Carpenter and Ross conclude in Doomsday? No Way:  Economic Trends & Post-Kelo Eminent Domain Reform.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports IJ.
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