Inverse condemnation is also called regulatory taking. However, neither phrase is commonly understood.
In simple terms, according to Realtytimes.com, these phrases mean that a person has been denied the use of his property by government regulations. For example, if a person is forbidden to build on or otherwise use his property because of wetlands regulations, his property is said to have been taken by inverse condemnation.
County commissioners expressed the opinion that current inverse condemnation law adequately protects citizens whose property is impacted by government decisions.
Under current law, property owners can file a motion of inverse condemnation against a government if a regulation deprives the property owner of all economic use of his property.
New legislation has been proposed that would expand the concept of inverse condemnation. Some such legislative proposals could make zoning and land-use ordinances subject to inverse condemnation claims.
Commissioners noted that this would discourage local governments from enforcing land use controls because of possible lawsuits.
Proposed bills that would expand the definition of inverse condemnation are designed to address other forms of imminent domain abuse as well. As such, discussion at the meeting expanded from inverse condemnation to other forms of imminent domain.
Nobody believes in being able to take peoples land for a big box operation, said Commission Chairman Billy Croker. A big box operation is a store that operates out of a large box shaped building, like most large retail and department stores.
Sen. Bill Heath responded by citing an example where a local government did use imminent domain for such a project. The example cited by Heath was in the City of Stockbridge in Henry County.
Commissioners also voiced their concerns over state funding for prisoners housed in county jails. A number of state prisoners are held in county jails while waiting transfer to state facilities. Currently, the state reimburses counties $20 per day per prisoner.
Chairman Croker said that the state pays private prisons $45 per day per prisoner. He also said the cost per day for the county is more than the $20 reimbursed. He suggested the state increase reimbursement for the counties.
Commissioner Mark Sullins raised the issue of gas prices, a subject not on the agenda. He expressed concern that areas around Cedartown have had cheaper gas prices than Cedartown recently and said he knew that a number of stores in the state had recently been fined for gouging.
Rep. Cummings responded by saying that variable prices are an inherent part of a free market system.
Sen. Heath also responded citing a number of possible reasons that gas prices were higher here. He said that demand for gas is high in Cedartown with people taking long commutes. He also said that special fuel requirements for the Atlanta metro area might be affecting prices in Polk County. While Polk County is not under Federal regulations that require those unique fuel blends, Heath said it is possible that stations are practically forced to buy such fuel as their delivery comes from Atlanta and is delivered to other areas where the regulations require those fuels. He also added that the distance from Cedartown to fuel distribution hubs likely adds extra transportation costs for trucking the fuel from pipeline to stations.
The way to control this is by putting pressure on the person thats providing the goods, said Heath. He suggested buying from those who have the best prices in order to encourage low prices.
Sullins then expressed dismay that the state would not pass an additional one-cent tax to be used for county roads.
Heath responded with bewilderment that Sullins was complaining about high gas prices and wanted to add an extra tax on gas. Sullins responded by expressing doubt that the additional one-cent would affect prices.