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Missouri approves four ballot initiatives for circulation

By   /   December 13, 2010  /   1 Comment

Four ballot initiative petitions, three relating to eminent domain and another relating to taxation, met state standards for circulation, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced Monday.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan

Before any constitutional changes can be brought before Missouri voters as a ballot initiative in the November 2012 election, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot are due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

Before circulating petitions, state law requires groups must first have the form of their petition approved by the secretary of state and the state attorney general. The secretary of state then prepares a summary statement  and the state auditor prepares a fiscal impact statement, both of which must be approved by the attorney general.

When both statements are approved, they become the official ballot title.

Ballot initiative titles:

The ballot title for the petition relating to taxation reads:

Constitutional Amendment to Article X

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to provide a 60 percent state income tax credit for contributions or donations made by individuals and corporations to Missouri incorporated and operated charitable and educational not-for-profit corporations, organizations, institutions and foundations in addition to the deductions currently allowed for federal and state income taxes?

The cost to state and local governmental entities is estimated to exceed $5 billion annually.

The petition was submitted by Herman Kriegshauser of Chesterfield.

The ballot title for the first petition relating to eminent domain reads:

Constitutional Amendment to Article I

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to restrict the use of eminent domain by:

  • Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain;
  • Prohibiting its use for private purposes, with certain exceptions for utilities;
  • Requiring that any taking of property be necessary for a public use while continuing to provide just compensation;
  • Requiring that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking;
  • Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not so used within five years or if the property is offered to a private entity within twenty years?

The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, one state governmental entity reported potential unknown costs.  Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

The ballot title for the second petition relating to eminent domain reads:

Constitutional Amendment to Article I

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to restrict the use of eminent domain by:

  • Allowing only government entities to use eminent domain;
  • Prohibiting its use for private purposes, with certain exceptions for utilities;
  • Requiring that any taking of property be necessary for a public use while continuing to provide just compensation;
  • Requiring that the intended public use be declared at the time of the taking;
  • Permitting the original owners to repurchase the property if it is not so used within five years or if the property is offered to a private entity within twenty years?

The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown.  Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, one state governmental entity reported potential unknown costs. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

The ballot title for the third petition relating to eminent domain reads:

Constitutional Amendment to Article VI

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the power of the General Assembly and constitutionally chartered cities or counties to:

  • Prohibit the use of eminent domain to acquire and resell property found to be blighted, substandard or unsanitary for the purpose of clearance, redevelopment or rehabilitation; and
  • Allow them to require owners of property found to be a public nuisance to abate or clean up the nuisance and, if the property owner fails to do so in a reasonable time, allow the local government to pay for the abatement and impose a lien to recover the cost?

The total cost or savings to state or local governmental entities is unknown. Most state governmental entities estimate no costs, however, one state governmental entity reported potential unknown costs. Estimated costs, if any, to local governmental entities could be significant.

Ron Calzone, Missouri Citizens for Property Rights, from Dixon, submitted the eminent domain petitions.

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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