Thursday, April 30, 2009

Raleigh rental property owners face registration deadline

WRAL: Thursday is the deadline for residential rental property owners in Raleigh to get registered with the city and pay a fee. more...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Article: The Wrong Eminent Domain Amendment

by Daren Bakst of The John Locke Foundation

Editor's note: this article is the opinion of the author; the NC Property Rights Coalition has not yet taken a position on this particular amendment.

After the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London, it's constitutional for the government to seize private property for economic development reasons. For example, your house or church could be seized so that a wealthy developer could build a shopping mall on your property.

Since 2006, eight states have passed constitutional amendments to protect against what are referred to as "economic development takings." There has been bipartisan support for a constitutional amendment in North Carolina. In 2007, the House passed an amendment by an overwhelming 104-15 vote. The state Senate, notorious for its opposition to property rights, let the amendment die.

Recently, some House members have introduced a new eminent domain amendment: House Bill 1268. The amendment would prohibit takings for economic development. It appears as if the amendment may be on the fast track. This may sound good on its face, but when it comes to this amendment, the cure is worse than the disease. The amendment would actually weaken, not strengthen, property rights. more...

Federal government grants state of NC power to intervene in Alcoa licensing, possibly seize company's private property

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted the State of North Carolina's request to intervene in the relicensing process related to Alcoa's Yadkin Hydroelectrict Project.


- According to
The Salisbury Post, Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. OWNS and manages the dams, powerhouses and reservoirs related to the project.

- From The Greensboro News & Record:
Federal regulators will allow Gov. Bev Perdue to have her say in the ongoing argument over whether Alcoa should be allowed to keep its electric generating plants on the Yadkin River. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled Friday that Perdue could add her voice to those asking the U.S. government to withdraw Alcoa’s right to produce and sell electricity generated by hydroelectric dams along the river.

- According to The Greensboro News & Record: The FERC has never withdrawn a license in the way that Perdue is asking for, and the company says it should be allowed to maintain its business. Meanwhile, state legislators are drafting a law to create a nonprofit entity to take over Alcoa’s Yadkin River operations.

- According to The Salisbury Post, bills have been introduced in the N.C. Senate and House calling for the creation of a state trust for the ownership and operation of the hydroelectric project.

- According to The Salisbury Post, Senate Bill 967, which would establish the state trust to own and manage the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project, won the unanimous support last week of the N.C. Senate's Judiciary II Committee. The bill has moved on to the Senate Finance Committee.


"If you look at the state taking over a private enterprise and running it for the benefit of the state, that is precedent setting." - Gene Ellis of Alcoa, News 14 Carolina, 4/2/09

"We had one experience in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez when he was the leader of that nation, they did take over one of our plants." - Gene Ellis of Alcoa, News 14 Carolina, 4/2/09

FAIR MARKET VALUE: According to the News 14 article, the state would have to buy the dams if they did get control. Ellis estimates the fair market value at "over half a billion dollars." Stanly County manager Andy Lucas has already indicated that the government will try to pay less than the fair market value, saying "If the federal government decides to recapture, there's a price on that and we believe that's the price. That price is different from what Alcoa has been citing and putting out there." News 14 Carolina, 4/2/09

Forced Annexation in Wilmington

by Daren Bakst of the John Locke Foundation

Wilmington's Annexation Abuse

If property owners are being forcibly annexed and want water and sewer services, they must request water and sewer lines be provided to their property within 5 days after what is called a public hearing. The public hearing is basically a venting session where annexation victims can tell city commissioners (who don't listen) what they think about the annexation.

Wilmington just had their public hearing this week. As I was looking on the city's annexation web page, I saw the FAQ document the city developed for the annexation victims. This is the document many people will read (as opposed to the unintelligible annexation plan) Here's something it said:

“How long will it take to get water and sewer service?

Installation of water and sewer lines will occur in two phases. First, the major water and sewer lines that all other smaller lines feed into must be constructed. Then, the smaller hookups to individual residences and businesses will occur. The city plans to have both phases completed within two years of the effective date of the annexation; however, by state law only the first phase must be completed within two years of the effective date of annexation.”