The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) urged Texans to support a constitutional amendment in November that would limit entities from condemning private property for public development, but urged Governor Perry to use a special session to address eminent domain reform that would further protect property owners.
"While the constitutional amendment is a good first step, there is more work to be done to address eminent domain law in the state of Texas," TSCRA President Dave Scott, a rancher from Richmond, Texas, said.
"Texas needs eminent domain reform that would require condemning entities to adequately compensate property owners when their land is taken," Scott continued. "Additionally, stronger laws are needed to better compensate property owners for impairment to their property once it is condemned."
"There is still time to reform the eminent domain laws in Texas by adding it to the priority list during a special session. Now is the time to level the playing field for property owners in Texas."
If eminent domain reform is addressed during the special session, it should contain provisions to:
Require a good faith offer by the condemning entity to the property owner.
Allow a property owner to be compensated for material impairment of direct access on or off the remaining property if it affects the market value of the remaining property.
Allow the property owner or their heirs to repurchase the property at the price paid to the owner when the property was acquired if the land was not used for public use in a timely manner.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 132-year-old trade organization and is the largest livestock association in Texas. TSCRA has more than 15,000 members who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement services, livestock inspection, legislative and regulatory advocacy and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.