Friday, February 10, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 20)

Indiana Mayor Steals Property From Homeowners To Give To A Private Developer  

Source: Institute for Justice 

The mayor of Charleston, Indiana cooked up a scheme to circumvent an Indiana Law that prohibits the use of eminent domain for 'economic development' by shaking down the homeowners of Pleasant Ridge, a low income neighborhood that has fallen victim to this racket, with thousands of dollars in fines for such trivial bullshit as chipped paint and torn screens. The end game is to force Pleasant Ridge residents out of their own homes so the neighborhood can be bulldozed and turned over to Neace Ventures. The mayor has left Pleasant Ridge homeowners with only two options to avoid burdensome fines for trivial code violations: either sell their homes at a loss to Neace Ventures or raze their homes to the ground. As IJ points out, the municipal government has violated several laws in the process of trying to force Pleasant Ridge residents off their own property. They have violated the cities own property maintenance code by not giving residents any time to correct code violations before they are fined. They have violated Indiana's Unsafe Building Law, which prohibits immediate accumulating fines. They have violated the 5th amendment by taking property without just compensation and for the exclusive use of a private corporation. They have used fines to take property without a criminal or civil proceeding or even giving homeowners a chance to appeal the fines. The most egregious crime here is not the municipal, state and constitutional laws the mayor has violated, but theft. Taking property from a person without their consent is theft, and it does not matter if it is done by a single criminal or a criminal syndicate that calls itself a government; theft is theft in either case. When governments begin to imitate the very criminals they were instituted to protect  their citizens from, they should be deposed. 

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