Florida voters favor eminent domain restrictions: Jacksonville (FL) Business Journal, 11/8/05

An overwhelming majority of Florida voters favor tighter restrictions on the government's use of eminent domain to acquire private property, according to a poll conducted last month by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc.

In a poll of 625 registered voters, 89 percent said they supported having the state legislature adopt "increased protections for property owners," while only 9 percent opposed such a move.

The poll comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year in a Connecticut case that found governments can use eminent domain to acquire private property and transfer it to a private developer. Eighty-eight percent of those polled disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The opposition to the ruling was nearly uniform across party lines, with 89 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of independent voters disagreeing with the ruling.

Some legislators have suggested an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes. Sixty-three percent of those polled favored such an amendment. Sixty-six percent supported federal legislation that would restrict federal funding for projects where eminent domain was used for economic development purposes.

The poll was commissioned by the Coalition for Property Rights. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.

Jacksonville Business Journal: http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com