YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Eminent domain: Be proactive when they come for your land
By Gene Hall
The Texas legislative battle on eminent domain reform in Austin is about transparency more than anything. Property takers have taken advantage of many landowners not understanding the process.
Far too many agreements have been signed “on the hood of the pickup” minutes after the first contact. A landowner should never do this.
There are good people representing companies with eminent domain authority. There are also a lot of them who will take advantage of folks who may not know the basics.
You should assume in every case that you may not be getting the full story. Stop and tell them you’ll think it over. Assess the options. Tell them the first offer is too low. Think about, and ask about, restoring the land after the work is done. Getting a lawyer to look at the offer and details is always a good idea.
As we think about this cloudy and unfair process, a call to your state elected officials asking for support of eminent domain reform is another positive step.
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.
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