2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Ross
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 17, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, TO PROVIDE THAT PRIVATE PROPERTY SHALL NEVER BE TAKEN SOLELY FOR PRIVATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES BUT SHALL REQUIRE A DIRECT PUBLIC USE; TO FURTHER DEFINE DIRECT PUBLIC USE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, under the current judicial decisions interpreting Section 17 of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, property may be taken by eminent domain only for direct public uses; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature is concerned that future judicial decisions may adopt a more expansive interpretation of the term public use; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature proposes to engraft in the text of the Constitution the effect of those current judicial decisions; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That the following amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 is proposed to the qualified electors of the state:
Amend Section 17, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, to read as follows:
Section 17. Private property shall not be taken or damaged except for a direct public use which is the primary purpose of the taking or damage, and compensation is first made to the owner or owners thereof, in a manner to be prescribed by law. An increase in tax revenue for a governmental entity shall not, in and of itself, be a direct public use. Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be a direct public use, the question whether the contemplated use is a direct public use shall be a judicial question, and, as such, shall be determined without regard to legislative assertion that the use is a direct public use. For purposes of this section, without limiting or enlarging what otherwise may or may not be a direct public use, a direct public use shall include common carriers or facilities of public utilities and other entities used in the generation, transmission, storage or distribution of telephone, telecommunications, gas, carbon dioxide, electricity, water, sewer, natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons or other utility products.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this proposed amendment shall be submitted by the Secretary of State to the qualified electors at an election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2007, as provided by Section 273 of the Constitution and by general law.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of this proposed amendment for the ballot shall read as follows: "This proposed constitutional amendment prohibits use of the power of eminent domain to take private property solely for private economic development purposes; direct public use is required.