Property Rights Constitutional

Farm Bureau has been fortunate to work over the past two years on an amendment to Virginia’s constitution to protect your property rights. With bipartisan support in the 2011 and 2012 sessions of the Virginia General Assembly, we are closer than ever to achieving this goal.

The constitutional amendment will be on the ballot this fall for Virginia voters to approve. Farm Bureau will be enacting a campaign this summer and into the fall to inform the public and encourage approval of the amendment. This amendment would ensure that your land cannot be taken and given to another private owner, and that all eminent domain takings are for a true public use.

Question 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot will read:

“Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?”

Voters will be asked to choose “Yes” or “No.”

If a majority of Virginia voters approve the proposed amendment, then the state constitution will be changed to incorporate the new language.

Legislation has passed defining “lost profits” and “lost access” per the language in the amendment. If voters approve the amendment, “Lost profits” and “lost access” will be added as elements in determining just compensation for eminent domain takings beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Please VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1 on the Nov. 6 ballot to help protect Virginians from eminent domain abuse.

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Watch This!

Eminent domain abuse can be a serious hindrance to working farms. Watch one Virginia farm family’s story.

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