YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Texas landowners deserve fairness in eminent domain
By Gene Hall
As the Texas Legislature struggles with the concept of basic fairness on eminent domain, motivations are easy to spot. Groups that oppose protecting landowners are property takers who want to pay as little as possible for taking private property.
If you think fairness is missing, chances are you understand the experience of being “lowballed” with less than a good faith offer. Some property takers or condemning entities do extend good faith offers. Many do not. These know that a landowner may not have the resources to fight a government, utility or corporation in court.
Some question the expense of paying fair market value for a taking. If we are too cheap to be fair, then it’s not our state’s finest hour. If legislators can’t stomach requiring property takers to pay court costs when they lose, then find another way to get to fair market value. The fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires the public to pay for property taken in its name. It does not read like a suggestion.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.
Media outlets: This content may be used without further permission.