Eminent Domain
All Initiatives   
Subject Matter:
Eminent Domain  (See Comments)

Original Filing:
No property acquired by the exercise of the power of eminent domain under the laws of the State of Mississippi shall, for a period of ten years after its acquisition, be transferred or any interest therein transferred to any person, non-governmental entity, public-private partnership, corporation, or other business entity with the following exceptions: (1) The above provisions shall not apply to drainage and levee facilities and usage, roads and bridges for public conveyance, flood control projects with a levee component, seawalls, dams, toll roads, public airports, public ports, public harbors, public wayports, common carriers or facilities for public utilities and other entities used in the generations, transmission, storage or distribution of telephone, telecommunication, gas, carbon dioxide, electricity, water, sewer, natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons or other utility products. (2) The above provisions shall not apply where the use of eminent domain (a) removes a public nuisance; (b) removes a structure that is beyond repair or unfit for human habitation or use; (c) is used to acquire abandoned property; or (d) eliminates a direct threat to public health or safety caused by the property in its current condition. Economic Impact Statement The amount and source of revenue required to implement the Initiative, if adopted, will only involve whatever printing costs are associated with the adoption of a constitutional amendment. The process of filing and completing eminent domain proceedings is not affected by the Initiative, which has no effect until any property expropriated to transfer to private parties has become vested in the condemnor. With respect to a reduction in any source of government revenue or reallocation of funding from currently funded programs, the only possible effect would be that property expropriated for transfer to private parties would be removed from the tax rolls if it had been previously owned by an owner paying taxes thereon. This would depend on the location of the property condemned, its assessed value and tax rate and would vary so much that any prediction of its effect would be entirely speculative. Also, the exceptions contained in the initiative would exempt most all condemned property from the limitation on transfers.

Proposed Ballot Title:
Should government be prohibited from taking private property by eminent domain and then transferring it to other persons?

Proposed Ballot Summary:
Initiative #31 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to prohibit state and local government from taking private property by eminent domain and then conveying it to other persons or private businesses for a period of 10 years after acquisition. Exceptions from the prohibition include drainage and levee facilities, roads, bridges, ports, airports, common carriers, and utilities. The prohibition would not apply in certain situations, including public nuisance, structures unfit for human habitation, or abandoned property.

Initiative Petition:
Click here to view Initiative Petition

David Waide
PO Box 1972
Jackson MS 39215-1972


Town Meeting Location:

Initiative Information:
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. Initiative measures are valid for one year. During this one-year period, a petition may be circulated to place the measure on the next statewide general election ballot to allow the voters of Mississippi to determine whether the measure should become a part of the Mississippi Constitution. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 106,190 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 21,238 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. This required number of signatures represents twelve percent (12%) of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks as belonging to registered voters in Mississippi. A completed petition should be filed with Secretary of State, together with a filing fee of $500.00. For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273, and Mississippi Code Annotated §§ 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).

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