Competing Eminent Domain Measures on June Ballot

Monday, April 28, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- June primary voters in California will have just two ballot measures to vote on. They are dueling ballot measures on the topic eminent domain, which is the government's ability to take people's property.

Prop 98 prohibits government from taking private land and transferring it to a private party. But it also phases out rent control ordinances.

"No existing tenant who is in an apartment or mobile home space right now will be affected," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Once the unit goes vacant, the rent control is gone forever. But anti 98 and pro 99 spokesman Dean Preston with the group "Tenants Together" says 98 doesn't stop there.

"Prop 98 would gut most renter protections in California," said Preston.

Prop 99 also halts most private home seizures, but not land or businesses. It also leaves rent control intact. Millions will be spent on each measure between now and June.

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