Texans Need Eminent Domain Reform

Your land. Your house. Your private property rights. All are at stake when it comes to eminent domain.

And Texas is a growing state with a strong appetite for new development. That puts a target on private property, leaving landowners facing a tough battle when a private company with eminent domain shows up at the front door.

But a coalition of agricultural and landowner organizations, Texans for Property Rights, is once again working for eminent domain reform in 86th Texas Legislature.

Texas Farm Bureau, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Wildlife Association and other industry groups believe in protecting private property rights of Texans against abusive practices, particularly by private corporations who use the government sponsored power of eminent domain.

In the Legislature

In the 86th Texas Legislature, Texas Farm Bureau is dedicated to supporting legislation that requires:

  • basic protections in easement terms
  • public meetings for private projects
  • consequences for making a low initial offer
  • guidelines for determining damages to the remainder

Click here to read more about Texas Farm Bureau’s legislative position.

Current Legislative Supporters

Texas Senators–SB 421
Author
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, SD 18
Co-Author
Sen. Charles Perry, SD 28

 

Texas House of Representatives-HB 991 
Author
Rep. DeWayne Burns, HD 58
Co-Authors
Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, HD 56
Rep. Trent Ashby, HD 57
Rep. Cecil Bell, HD 3
Rep. Keith Bell, HD 4
Rep. Kyle Biedermann, HD 73
Rep. Brad Buckley, HD 54
Rep. Dan Flynn, HD 2
Rep. James Frank, HD 69
Rep. Kyle Kacal, HD 12
Rep. Stan Lambert, HD 71
Rep. Mike Lang, HD 60
Rep. Andrew Murr, HD 53
Rep. J.D. Sheffield, HD 59
Rep. Hugh Shine, HD 55
Rep. Drew Springer, HD 68
Rep. Phil Stephenson, HD 85
Rep. Gary VanDeaver, HD 1
Rep. James White, HD 19
Rep. Erin Zwiener, HD 45

Sign up for Updates

Click here to sign up for updates from Texans for Property Rights, a landowner coalition dedicated to eminent domain reform.

Texas Farm Bureau will send action alerts throughout the legislative session via VoterVoice. Click here to sign up.

Join our Strike Force! This is a group of leaders committed to helping pass eminent domain reform this session. If you are passionate and dedicated to helping us achieve reform this session, email sallen@txfb.org.

You can also receive weekly updates on all agricultural legislation via the Austin Newsletter. Log in or create an account through the MyTFB membership portal, and select Austin Newsletter in the Contact Preferences section.

Helpful Resources

Property owners faced with the threat of eminent domain often ask for advice on how to best handle the process. Click here for a few resources and tips if you find yourself in the path of project with eminent domain.

Landowner Bill of Rights
Published by the Texas Attorney General, this document outlines some of your basic rights in the process of eminent domain. The condemnor should provide this to you with your initial offer, be sure to read it carefully. Download now.
Pipeline easement checklist
Published by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, this document is a great resource for those dealing with a potential pipeline easement. Download now.
Texas Agriculture Law Blog
This website has great insight and resources for many aspects of agricultural law, including eminent domain. Read blog.
Eminent domain poll results
See the results of a 2018 statewide opinion survey of general election voters in Texas. See the survey results.

Quick Stats

95 percent of Texas is privately owned.

95 percent of Texas is privately owned.

In a survey conducted by Texans for Property Rights, almost 60 percent of respondents said their taking was by a private company, not a governmental entity.

In a survey conducted by Texans for Property Rights, almost 60 percent of respondents said their taking was by a private company, not a governmental entity.

Only 2% of respondents believed the initial offer was fair, and 13% of respondents thought the final offer was fair.

Only 2% of respondents believed the initial offer was fair, and 13% of respondents thought the final offer was fair.

Of respondents who took their condemnation to a special commissioner’s hearing or trial court, 77% received at least 20% more than the final written offer from the condemnor.

Of respondents who took their condemnation to a special commissioner’s hearing or trial court, 77% received at least 20% more than the final written offer from the condemnor.

Eminent Domain in the News

Texas farm organizations speak out about eminent domain
Organizations representing landowners, farmers and ranchers want to see the eminent domain process reformed to be more fair and transparent. Read the full article
Warning: It could be you
If you own private property in Texas, you could be next in an eminent domain case. And you may not get a fair offer. Read the full article
Eminent domain reform push expected in legislature
As Texas continues to grow, so does the use of eminent domain. But Texas landowners, along with organizations that represent them, are seeking reform this legislative session. Read the full article
Bills aim to protect landowners
Lawmakers from both chambers want more protections for Texas landowners when it comes to eminent domain. Read the full article
Farm Bureau supports eminent domain reform
Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening issues a statement in support of HB 991 and SB 421. Read the full article
Burns talks eminent domain reform
HB 991 seeks to level the playing field for landowners in Texas. Rep. DeWayne Burns, who authored the bill, talks with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network about eminent domain reform. Listen to the radio program
Texas farmers seek eminent domain reform
Texas farmers say their biggest priority this session is securing protections when private companies try to seize their land. Read the full article
Kolkhorst proposes eminent domain reform
State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst filed legislation that would strengthen property rights for Texans involved in eminent domain procedures with private companies. Read the full article

Social Media Resources