South Carolina Amendment 7, Eminent Domain Act (2006)
Amendment 7 prohibits "the State [of South Carolina] or a local government" from "condemning, or taking, private property for any purpose except for a public use."
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The question asked on the ballot was:
- "Must Section 13, Article I of the Constitution of this State be amended so as to provide that except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, private property shall not be condemned by eminent domain for any purpose or benefit, including, but not limited to, the purpose or benefit of economic development, unless the condemnation is for public use; and to further provide that for the limited purpose of the remedy of blight, the General Assembly may provide by law that private property, if it meets certain conditions, may be condemned by eminent domain without the consent of the owner and put to a public use or private use if just compensation is first made for the property; and must Section 17, Article I of the Constitution of this State be amended to delete undesignated paragraphs that give slum clearance and redevelopment power to municipalities and housing or redevelopment authorities in Sumter and Cherokee Counties; and must the Constitution of this State be amended to delete Section 5, Article XIV, which provides slum clearance and redevelopment power over blighted properties to municipalities and housing or redevelopment authorities in Spartanburg, York, Florence, Greenville, Charleston, Richland, and Laurens Counties?"
As provided for in South Carolina law, election officials include a neutral explanation on the ballot of each ballot question. The explanation provided alongside the question for proposed Amendment 1 in 2006 said:
- "This amendment prohibits the State or a local government from condemning, or taking, private property for any purpose except for a public use, and says that economic development in itself is not a public use; allows the General Assembly to pass a law that allows condemnation for a private use only if the property is blighted and is dangerous to the community's safety and health and if fair compensation is paid; and deletes language about condemnation of blighted areas by some specific local governments."
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