Friday, August 24, 2012

Nov. 6th: Vote YES! on Amendment One

The Family Foundation of Virginia Newsletter
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Victoria Cobb, President

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Information Alert: We’re from the government…

…and we’re here to help.  While usually used as a joke, that line actually applies far too often.  In Virginia, only state government can turn something that should cost $15,000 into a $500,000 bill for the taxpayers!


But it’s not simply the money.  We often lose rights in the process, so it does make perfect sense to government bureaucrats.


This issue resulted from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s refusal to pay a landowner $15,000 to clean up debris from construction work on property it seized with the power of eminent domain to expand a highway.  Years later, a court decided in favor of the property owner, a decision that ended up costing the state – that would be you and I, the taxpayers – over $500,000 in attorney fees, reparations to the property owner and other costs. 


This November, you can help address this major problem by voting YES! on Amendment One, a constitutional amendment protecting your property rights, and your wallet.


The government’s power to take property for “public use” was expanded by the Supreme Court in 2005 to include as a public use things like increasing tax revenue, a threat not only to private landowners but also to churches and religious institutions.  After all, religious organizations don’t pay property taxes.  Replacing those buildings with strip malls or Wal-Marts that pay taxes and feed local coffers is a temptation some local government officials simply can’t control.  In addition, government often doesn’t compensate landowners for their actual financial loss when their property is seized or access to their property infringed. 


To address this, after years of debate and effort, the General Assembly this year finally passed legislation putting a property rights constitutional amendment on the ballot.  While support for property rights is strong, a coalition of organizations that support property rights, including The Family Foundation, the Virginia Farm Bureau, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and others, are working to make sure Virginians understand how important it is to support this crucial ballot initiative.


The protection of property rights was a principle critical to our Founders’ vision of America.  Unfortunately, as with many of our Founding principles, it’s up to the citizens to remind government that we still believe in and want those principles to be enforced.  


Vote YES! yard signs will be available soon at our field offices.  Call a field rep in your area to reserve a sign today:



William Zimmerman

Phone: 703-568-4093



Edward Newland

Phone: 515-505-5383



Prince William

Willie Deutsch/Bill Pfister

Phone: 515-505-5209



Metro Richmond

Ron Gallagher

Phone: 804-591-5909



Greg Culbertson

Phone: 505-515-5280




Tim Pogge

Phone: 515-505-5224


Paid for by The Family Foundation Action.