Eminent domain is a legal concept, the rights of a state, province, or government entity to take private property for public use. Its application by New York public officials is being weaponized as the latest strategy to torment wealthy residents. I am concerned about the unfair, arrogant way I have been treated by the Town of Amherst and its Supervisor, becomes encouragement for other New York politicians to follow their example. Around in a road widening, improvement project, Amherst took some of my property—making it such that I was no longer allowed to operate gas pumps or have space for vehicles. During this period, I have continued to own and maintain this half-acre parcel, paying its annual tax bill. I was willing to maintain it at my expense, so long as I held ownership and had the legal right to do what I wanted with this property in the future. During this period, a number of times I attempted to meet with Supervisor Brian Kulpa, and he refused. Consider that in the Buffalo region, I have significant property, equity, and business operations. I lost this case, along with my appeal. While eminent domain is supposed to be reserved for clearly defined public benefit, the New York courts have made the interpretation blurry, limiting the rights of property owners. One of the keys to my successful career has been real estate investment, especially with distressed properties where I have made the demonstrated commitment to bring about improvements and increased value. Many real estate investors will not engage in risky transactions and unstable projects. They need to have faith and sureness that government policies and administration is supportive of their equity. The political vandalism by Amherst sends a message to property owners and developers in the Buffalo region. This legal coercion shows a lack of respect some politicians have for those people and business enterprises who are making investments and paying taxes in their communities. New York real estate suffers devaluation because all property is now under increased jeopardy. Random, uncritical use of eminent domain discourages investor confidence and interested buyers. As real estate equity turns into the prey of politicians—people with assets are less likely to become stakeholders. Skip to content. Power Finance Power Owners Magazine.
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