You may have heard about the new Ford factory coming to our state. Tennessee announced a deal with Ford to build a new electric vehicle factory in Memphis, promising nearly $900 million in incentives, including new and upgraded roads.
However, this deal comes at a high cost for some local farmers, who will be forced to sell their land to the state under eminent domain.
Eminent domain is the term used for the government’s power to take private property for a public use. This is, usually, for things like utilities, roads, bridges, etc. However, critics say that eminent domain has been abused by some governments to take property for private development projects that benefit wealthy corporations or developers.
According to reports, some of the farmers affected are facing the loss of farms that have been in their families for generations. They face the loss of their heritage, their homes and their livelihood.
These reports claim that hundreds of properties will be taken by the government through eminent domain to be used by Ford to build the plant.
However, the farmers have some options to fight back against eminent domain. There are two main ways to challenge eminent domain in Tennessee. First, property owners can challenge the public use of the taking.
They can argue that the Ford project is not a public use, but a private benefit for a corporation that does not serve the public interest. They can also argue that the state did not demonstrate a necessity or a reasonable plan for the taking.
Second, property owners can challenge the just compensation offered by the state. They can argue that the state undervalued their property or did not consider its highest and best use. They can also argue that the state did not account for the damages or losses caused by the taking, such as relocation costs, emotional distress or loss of income.
Fight the good fight
Eminent domain is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil. While some projects may benefit the public, others may harm individuals and communities. Property owners have rights and remedies under the law, and they should not give up without a fight.