I did an earleir post about the anniversary of the Supreme Court's notorious Kelo decision and the backlash of eminent domain reforms in its aftermath. New York is one of the states in which officials haven't seen the light yet:
If you own a piece of property in New York State, you won't like today's ruling by the state's high court.
The New York Court of Appeals—that state's highest court—today overturned a lower court's ruling that had blocked the New York State Urban Development Corporation from using eminent domain to take property away from a group of small-business owners in upper Manhattan and turn it over to Columbia University for private development. Today's decision comes on the heels of the court's decision last year in Goldstein v. Urban Development Corporation, which allowed homes and businesses in Brooklyn to be turned over to wealthy developer Bruce Ratner to build luxury condominiums and a basketball arena.
New York has one of those "let's pretend" definitions of "blight" under which almost any property can be condemned, no matter what its condition. The Indiana law was similarly outrageous, but post-Kelo, our legislators put some of the "private" back in private property. A 2006 law redefines blighted areas subject to eminent domain to emphasize properties that are "detrimental to the public health and safety." It also defines "public use" an Old Style;">to be the possession, occupation and enjoyment of property by the public, public agencies or public utilities, and does not include an increase in the tax base, tax revenue, employment or general economic health.