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  • ATC & DOT Effort to Revoke Land Rights Defeated
    Through the grassroots efforts of small landowners threatened by condemnation and the work of organizations such as the Wisconsin Realtors Association, as well as many others, anti-landowner provisions inserted into the Wisconsin State budget have been removed. The provisions would have revoked important rights of small landowners who face condemnation by making it impractical or impossible to stand up to the scorched-earth tactics employed by condemners who seem to have unlimited budgets for battling landowners (see previous blog post). Under current law, which has been preserved, many small landowners with strong cases for more compensation have been able to withstand efforts by condemners to win by "spending the landowner into the ground," and condemners have been encouraged to settle cases. The budge provisions, addressed in more detail in our previous blog post, had...
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  • JFC Vote Threatens WI Landowner Rights
    On Tuesday May 31, 2011, the Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) advanced a proposal to gut key protections for landowners when property is taken from them against their wishes for roads, power lines, sewers or similar projects. These protections were put in place in the mid-1970's after the legislature studied and re-studied eminent domain abuses that victimized small landowners. The proposal is cleverly designed to leave thousands of small landowners helpless when government agencies or large utilities make "low-ball" offers on private property slated for seizure under the government's power of eminent domain. The proposal accomplishes this goal by precluding these property owners from being reimbursed for litigation costs they incur when battling for just compensation. Under this proposal, landowners would face the prospect of being “spent into the ground” by...
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