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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 1024 683 Ryan Gravatt

A longtime advocate for private property rights, Senator Charles Schwertner introduces legislation to protect landowners from unfair taxation and eminent domain abuse.

AUSTIN, TX — Today, Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and Representative Ben Leman (R-Iola) introduced several pieces of legislation to support private landowner rights and strengthen protections against unfair taxation and eminent domain abuse.

“Honoring the rights of private property owners is fundamental to Texas’ proud, independent heritage,” 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 to continue defending Texas landowners from unfair taxation and eminent domain abuse.”

Senate Bill 721 (Appraisals) — (1) strengthens landowner rights by requiring condemnors to provide appraisals used at commissioner court hearings at least 3 business days before the hearing. This bill is joint authored by Senators Bettencourt, Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Hall, Hinojosa, Huffman, Kolkhorst, Miles, Paxton, Perry, Seliger, and Springer.

Senate Bill 723 (Landowner Bill of Rights) – provides landowners with increased disclosure of rights including: (1) the right to negotiate survey terms and refuse access to property; (2) the requirement that a condemning entity must include an additional, separate offer for land that is not strictly necessary to complete a public project; and (3) the right to receive the Landowner Bill of Rights with the initial offer instead of the final offer. This bill is joint authored by Senators Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Hall, Huffman, Kolkhorst, Miles, Paxton, Perry, Seliger, and Zaffirini.

Senate Bill 725 (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. This bill is joint authored by Senators Bettencourt, Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Hall, Hinojosa, Huffman, Kolkhorst, Miles, Nichols, Paxton, Perry, Seliger, Springer, and Zaffirini.

Senate Bill 726 (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. This bill is joint authored by Senators Bettencourt, Birdwell, Buckingham, Campbell, Hall, Hinojosa, Huffman, Miles, Nichols, Paxton, Perry, Seliger, Springer, and Zaffirini.

“Private property rights are essential to preserving our way of life, maintaining our heritage, and making the landowner whole when eminent domain is used,” said Rep. Ben Leman.  “These bills improve the eminent domain process to ensure landowners are treated fairly while keeping a balanced approach to satisfying our infrastructure needs in a rapidly growing state.”

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.

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