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Schwertner Fights to Protect Private Landowner Rights

Schwertner Fights to Protect Private Landowner Rights

Schwertner Fights to Protect Private Landowner Rights 150 150 Dr. Schwertner

A longtime advocate for the rights of private property owners, Schwertner introduces legislation to guard landowners against unfair taxation and eminent domain abuse.

AUSTIN, TX — Today, Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and Texas House colleagues Representatives Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) and Ben Leman (R-Iola) introduced a slate of legislation meant to support the rights of private landowners and strengthen protections against unfair taxation and the abuse of eminent domain.  

“Defending the rights of private property owners is as much a part of Texas’ heritage as the quarter horse or the Colt .45,” said Schwertner.  “Like a lot of hard-working families in Senate District 5, my family has been farming and ranching in Texas for over six generations. That’s why I am proud to offer this legislation and proud to continue the long tradition of protecting Texas landowners from unfair taxation and eminent domain abuse.”

SB 552 (Informed Survey Notice) — provides landowners with increased disclosure of existing survey-related rights, including the right to negotiate survey terms and recover damages caused by a survey, as well as the landowner’s right to refuse access to their property without a court order.  The House companion is HB 1245 filed by Rep. Ashby.

SB 553 (Two Clear Offers) — requires a condemning authority to specify which parcel of a landowner’s property is needed for a desired project and which is not subject to condemnation, requiring separate compensation offers for each. The House companion is HB 1246 filed by Rep. Ashby.

SB 554 (Actual Progress Reform) — strengthens existing landowner protections which allow Texans the right to repurchase property seized through eminent domain unless the condemning entity can demonstrate “actual progress” on the project within a defined period of time. The House companion is HB 1253 filed by Rep. Leman.

SB 555 (Land-Use Tax Exemption) — ensures that the condemning entity is responsible for the 7% interest penalty assessed on taxes owed by farmers and ranchers when their property is converted, through eminent domain, from an agricultural or open-space designation to another use. The House companion is HB 1247 filed by Rep. Ashby.

Each one of these bills is Joint Authored by Senators Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Fallon, Hall, Hinojosa, Hughes, Lucio, Nichols, Perry, Seliger, and Zaffirini. Senator Miles Joint Authored SB 552, 553, and 555. Senator Rodríguez Joint Authored SB 552 and 555. 

In November 2018, Dr. Charles Schwertner was reelected to serve the citizens of Senate District 5, a ten-county region of central and east Texas.