Property Theives Sneaking Back In

Legal Plunder

Remember the bill I told you about a couple of weeks ago, H4628, that would allow the city to take your property, give it to a receiver, and bill you for their cost of fixing it up?

You did a great job putting the brakes on it!  But we are not out of danger yet!

You see, there is a “companion bill”, S1117 in the South Carolina Senate that is identical to H4628.

A companion bill is a common legislative tactic used to introduce identical bills in both the House and the Senate.  That way, if it doesn’t get any traction in one chamber, they can try to move it in the other chamber.

You’ve gummed up the works on H4628 in the House, so they are trying to sneak it through the Senate as S1117, hoping we will not notice.

So, this is what you need to do:  Call the members of the Judiciary subcommittee that will be hearing S1117.  They carried the bill over last week.  Let’s make sure it doesn’t come back up!

You can simply say, “I am asking you to oppose S1117.  This bill ignores private property rights and must be defeated.”  Plain and simple!

Ray Cleary – Chairman; (803) 212-6100;

Robert Ford; (803) 212-6124;

Shane Martin; (803) 212-6100;

Greg Gregory; (803) 212-6024;

As a reminder of the dangers of this bill, here is some of what I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the House version, H4628.  Remember, S1117 is identical.

Imagine this:

A thief steals your property deed, makes improvements to your property, sells it, doesn’t make back his cost plus 10% for profit, then sends you a bill for the difference … and a judge orders you to pay it.

Sound preposterous?

Well, if a proposed bill in South Carolina’s General Assembly passes, you will be legally responsible to pay the bill.

Only, the thief will actually be called a “receiver” and he will legally take control of your property if it doesn’t meet the local codes and ordinances.

The receiver will be required to make improvements and will be allowed to sell the property to recover his expenses plus 10% profit.

If he doesn’t recover his money and profit, he can charge you the difference.  And you are legally responsible for it!

Crazy?  Yeah, it is!

But it is reality.

The bill’s sponsor says this bill is a good free market solution to a problem of abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

Really?  Free market?

It’s not any free market I recognize.

I suggested that instead of pushing this bill, he work to get government out of the way of the free market by reducing taxes, eliminating burdensome regulations, and the like.

Government cannot enact a free market solution.  It’s a contradiction.  Government can only get out of the way of the free market.

Besides, whatever happened to private property?

Since when did people begin to think it was okay for government to take over abandoned and dilapidated buildings without the owner’s consent?

Okay, so according to the bill, there are some limitations on what kinds of property the local government can steal from you.  For one, it can’t be owner occupied.

Does that make you feel safer?  Not me, because once they’ve justified taking private property that is not owner occupied, it’s not a far leap to then take property that IS owner occupied.

The thievery is also limited to property that is a “serious and imminent public health or safety hazard.”  But the bill never specifically defines what that is.

To me and you, it may seem clear.  But when judges and lawyers get in the mix, it could mean just about anything.

With this left open to interpretation, you are at the mercy of whatever a city attorney can convince a judge that it means.

I’d be willing to bet that when a receiver is guaranteed a 10% profit over his cost, the threshold of what constitutes a “serious and imminent public health or safety hazard” will become lower and lower.

Besides, no matter what the definition, do we really think the solution to the problem is for the government to steal your property? 

I don’t think so!

I hate the idiom because it is used way too often, but it IS a slippery slope to start down.  Once rights are lost it is nearly impossible to gain them back, and much too easy to lose more.

I won’t accept anything that takes away more of our private property rights. Will you?

Government should protect our private property rights, not attack them!

They’ve already held subcommittee hearings in which “improvements” to the bill have been suggested.

For me, the only improvement is to bury it six feet under.  The entire premise of the bill is wrong to start with.  You can’t fix it.  It needs to die an immediate death.

Our private property rights are under strong attack this year in the South Carolina Statehouse.  Thank you for helping to defend our rights.  You are making a difference!


About Talbert Black

Talbert Black Jr is the founder of Palmetto Liberty PAC. His education in state politics & citizen lobbying began in 1999 with his membership in GrassRoots GunRights SC. In 2008 he joined the Campaign for Liberty and within a year he was the Interim State Coordinator for South Carolina. His goal for Palmetto Liberty PAC is to change to composition of South Carolina’s General Assembly so that it consistently supports conservative principles.

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