Reed Protects Private Property Owners

Jun 11, 2015
Press Release

Congressman Tom Reed voted in favor of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Bill, HR 2577, which contains provisions aimed at limiting the government’s use of Eminent Domain.

“The right to private property is fundamental to our nation and our economy. Private property owners should not have to be afraid of their property being taken from them by their government,” said Reed. “The practice of Eminent Domain is all too often used as an excuse for government to do whatever it chooses, leaving landowners with little recourse to fight back. This bill brings us one step closer to stopping the practice once and for all.”

The provision of the bill prevents all levels of government from using federal funding for projects that use of Eminent Domain, specifically for private economic development.

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued the now famous decision to the Kelo vs. New London case, which vastly expanded the traditional powers of eminent domain. According to the decision, all levels of government are authorized to take private property from citizens for the purpose of private economic development, if it is deemed beneficial for the community at large.

“As the tenth anniversary of the Kelo decision approaches, the pattern of consistent overreach from government is clear. I can think of few things more patently unfair, taking someone’s home, in order to develop a commercial property,” Reed continued.

In recognition of these abuses, Reed recently founded the Congressional Private Property Rights Caucus, aimed at raising awareness to many of the challenges and abuses private property rights owners face from government. The caucus has participating members from Maine to California.

In addition, Reed sponsored HR 510, the Defense of Property Rights Act, which provides property owners with the ability to seek compensation in Federal court when government action significantly impairs the value of their land, forcing government to think twice before acting and introducing accountability into a system. The legislation awaits further consideration from the Judiciary Committee.

The 10th anniversary of the Kelo v. New London decision is June 23, 2015.