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UCSB 'Economics Forum' to Focus on Controversial Use of Eminent Domain to Seize Property

Monday, February 6, 2006 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of eminent domain to transfer private property from one owner to another who could generate more tax revenue.

UC Santa Barbara economist Perry Shapiro will address the controversial issue in a UCSB Affiliates Economics Forum lecture titled "Takings: Eminent Domain and Compensation" on Tuesday, February 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Critics have argued that the court's decision gives too much control to government and undermines a basic principle of land ownership in the United States.

In the ruling, judges voted 5-to-4 that local authorities in the city of New London, Connecticut could bulldoze homes standing in the way of a planned commercial development, including a hotel, luxury apartments and offices.

Many states are considering limiting the use of eminent domain for projects whose only justification is enhancing local economic activity.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development.

The bill has been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.

The lecture will be held in the Chase Palm Park Recreation Center, 236 East Cabrillo Boulevard.

The cost of the lecture is $8 for UCSB Affiliates or Chancellor's Council members, $10 for others.

Contact the UCSB Office of Community Relations at 893-4388 to register, as space is limited.

Shapiro specializes in microeconomic theory, public economics, and econometrics.

His research on compensation for public condemnation focuses on equitable and efficient compensation.

Eminent domain and compensation will be the focus of an upcoming UCSB conference in May.