posted by on Nov 18
Old Ben Franklin was discussing fire fighting when he wrote this sage advice during the 1700s. My corruption of Mr. Franklin’s idea refers right now to the sorry state of Texas eminent domain laws.
Voters overwhelmingly blessed an ounce of prevention this past year with the passage of a Constitutional amendment backed by Texas Farm Bureau which stops the government from taking private property to offer to another entity for your primary purpose of economic development or enhance tax revenue.
That has been a good start, but falls far in short supply of the pound of cure Texas property laws need. Condemners have a license to steal, how Texas eminent domain laws are written today. Don’t assume all condemners abuse legislation. But horror stories abound of landowners suffering the injustice of unfair condemnation practices.
Look, by way of example, at Bryan Adamek, a South Texas farmer who fought against a lowball offer in eminent domain proceedings to take his valuable farmland for any landfill.
Or Covey Neatherlin, who could only watch from his back porch as his pecan grove, taken by eminent domain, was reduced to mulch.
Even city folk like Jim and Nazneen Talukder , whose 25-acres were sliced and diced by water and sewer lines through eminent domain proceedings that turned their idyllic country retreat in a living nightmare.
While the report on horrors is endless across the Lone Star State, the abuses must stop.
The opportunity for reform is ripe. The Texas legislature convenes in January. Both gubernatorial candidates are saying positive things about eminent domain reform. We’ve got a broad election in November. All 150 state representatives and 16 state senators are up for reelection.
Inform your favorite candidates they might depend on your support. Therefore, tell them you anticipate their support for Texas property law reform. Remind them that:
• The necessity for eminent domain reform is popular among Texans, by having an over 80 percent favorable vote for Proposition 11. However, Proposition 11 was just the beginning for needed reform.
• The Legislature should complete penalties for condemners who do not negotiate in good faith.
• There has to be adequate compensation for loss of access.
• A 10-year buyback provision is necessary for land which isn’t used by the key reason why it had been condemned.
Wise Ben Franklin also said energy and persistence conquers all things. I’ll not corrupt that quote.
For quite some time, Texas Farm Bureau leaders and members have carried your dream for Texas property law reform. We failed once as a result of veto. We failed the 2nd time due to legislative mayhem.
I don’t think we will fail again. Texas Farm Bureau contains the energy to help keep the problem alive. Texas Farm Bureau members have the persistence to see it through.
The next time, I do believe, we’ll right the wrongs of Texas property laws.