Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eminent Domain by another name in Memphis

Memphis has the highest property taxes in the State. Memphis Mayor Herenton would like to leverage that infamous reputation and make it easier to seize and control properties which are foreclosed because hapless owners can't pay the ridiculously high taxes.

If the city wants your land for a condo problem, just raise your taxes to the point where you can't pay them and then take your property, give it to a crony and give them a tax break so they don't have to pay taxes. And Voila, legal corruption.


The land bank bill would give cities and counties power to create land bank authorities that would oversee properties seized for nonpayment of taxes. County Mayor A C Wharton has already established a land bank department in county government and the city envisions a joint authority with a goal toward better use of the land.

The city believes the current laws that limit what cities can do with tax-foreclosed property leads to fragmented neighborhoods and tax sales that may not be in best interest of the community. The land bank authority would have broader power to dispose of the property, including transferring it for "strategic initiatives" and holding it for "private, public and nonprofit entities in support of community revitalization."