Sunday, April 29, 2007

An Example of Corporate and Government Pimping

Hear a quick example of how the Government (and Corporate America) pimps ordinary citizens.

The following story is from St. Louis Radio station KMOX AM. The story is about a St. Louis area resident, Jo Anne Bailey, who had her property (home) value increase by 50% after a mandatory assessment by the County Government. This is done so that the County gets more in tax revenue. Yet at the same time, her property was determined to be blighted by the local government, so that her property can be snatched through eminent domain. Ms. Bailey's home is located on land where developers want to build commercial property. Her home happens to be in an area where some of St. Louis County's most prime real-estate is it's far from being "blighted". This area has homes that range anywhere from three hundred thousand to over a million dollars.

Hear Story

Local governments basically admit to being frauds when they do this, because property that goes up 50% in value can't be blighted..... especially in an area of prime real-estate. In the case of St. Louis County, I think that the government unintentionally slipped up and exposed its own fraud. This was apparently a case of different government agencies not communicating (or conspiring) good enough.

The tax assessment should provide the homeowner with plenty of ammo to fight the blighted claim on her property. But the Federal government has to do something about this kind of government sanctioned fraud...conducted in cooperation with Corporations. This is why the Supreme Court ruling from a couple of years ago, allowing local governments to take land for "private" use was a bad deal.....because it opened the floodgates for this kind of fraud....basically legalizing it. There were not enough safeguards in place to protect citizens from this kind of government abuse.

This is a classic example of a local government abusing the "blight" laws for corporate interests. The concept of listing property as blighted was originally intended to be a catalyst for redeveloping and improving poor, run-down areas. However, in recent years, blight laws have been abused by governments in more middle class or upscale areas, to assist corporate entities with taking private property, mainly homes and small businesses, so that larger commercial properties can be built.

Citizens like Ms. Bailey are catching hell coming and going. On one hand, her property faced an extremely high property assessment for the purpose of increasing her taxes, but on the other hand her land has been slapped with the "blighted" title so that her property can be taken at rock bottom prices. By getting hit with the "blighted" label, developers will be able to get away with offering the homeowner lowball amounts rather than a fair market price. Furthermore, if developers decided for some reason to change their minds and move on, Ms. Bailey is then stuck with a "blighted" home or a home that once had that label. This would make it harder to sell the home.

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