VOTERS HAVE a chance in next month's election to protect private property while retaining government power to take land for public use when necessary.
The ballot will ask whether voters want to amend the New Hampshire Constitution to create a new article, 12-a, stating: "No part of a person's property shall be taken by eminent domain and transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for the purpose of private development or other private use of the property."
Everyone should vote "yes."
The amendment would not prevent the government from using its power of eminent domain to do legitimate public takings for projects such as roads and schools.
It would prohibit the government from taking land from a private party and giving it to another private party for projects such as shopping malls, office buildings and other non-public uses.
The power of eminent domain was to be exercised only for legitimate public uses of the land taken. It was never intended to be used to generate tax revenue to fill public coffers.
Vote "yes" on Question 1 and protect all private property in New Hampshire from government theft. Vote "no" and the next house taken by government and handed to a wealthy real estate developer could be your own.
Manchester NH Union-Leader: http://www.unionleader.com