Sunday, March 17, 2019

Call Your Texas Senators!!! Eminent Domain Bills to Be Voted On.

From - Texas Landowners for Eminent Domain Reform
Dear All,               (please forward this email to friends, colleagues, and other property owners)

I am pleased to tell all of you that the following bills designed to help property owners during a condemnation process is on the intent calendar for a Senate floor vote on Monday at 3 pm.  All your efforts to pass these bills to reform eminent domain have helped this important legislation pass out of the Senate State Affairs committee and can move toward Senate passage on the floor. 

Now is the time to write your LOCAL State Senator and ask them to Support the following 4 bills which are all up for a floor vote on Monday, March 18 at 3 pm.

Ask your Senator to support these 4 bills all to be voted on in the Senate on Monday:

CSSB 421 Kolkhorst       Omnibus Bill Regarding Private Entities
SB421 is an omnibus bill that a) requires additional standard property protections in all easement terms with basic information for a property owner regarding a private entity’s project; and b) encourages offers from private condemnors be made at fair market value.  (Note:  This bill has now evolved from its original form, expect amendments on the floor).

SB 552 Schwertner       Survey Permission
SB 552 provides property owners information about their rights relating to the survey of their property by an eminent domain authority.  The bill requires landowners to be informed of their rights in the negotiation of a survey and other related provisions. It also provides that the details of these rights also be incorporated in a Survey Permission Form if used by a condemning authority.  

SB 553 Schwertner  Purchase of Additional Property
SB 553 requires a condemning entity make a separate and clearly identifiable offer for additional land needed that is not related to land acquired through condemnation.

SB 554 Schwertner  Right to Repurchase Property
SB 554 amends current statute relating to the right to repurchase property from a condemning entity. The legislation allows a landowner the right to repurchase property if the condemning entity does not prove that “actual progress” toward the stated public use of a taking is made within a ten-year period.

Please personalize your message, especially if you have been a property owner affected by eminent domain. To email, do so by typing their firstname.lastname@senate.texas.gov

Here are our local DFW Senators:  
Dist. 2 - Bob Hall - bob.hall@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 8 - Angela Paxton - angela.paxton@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 9 - Kelly Hancock - kelly.hancock@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 10 - Beverly Powell - beverly.powell@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 12 - Jane Nelson - jane.nelson@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 16 - Nathan Johnson - nathan.johnson@senate.texas.gov
Dist. 23 - Royce West - royce.west@senate.texas.gov

Passing the above Senate bills would then move them over to the appropriate House Committee, Land & Resource Management.

Reforming eminent domain is about "due process" for ALL Texans. Reforming the process is in the state platform of both political parties.o participate.....

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Michael Hicks: Local newspapers are key in reporting corruption

Michael Hicks: Local newspapers are key in reporting corruption: The past few weeks have contained more reports of newspaper downsizing at metro daily newspapers in Indiana. This news involved some of our state’s largest daily print publications, but it is a familiar story affecting papers large and small in the age of the internet.Last week, Muncie saw the first sentencing in a broad federal

Some favor eminent domain over customary use

Some favor eminent domain over customary use

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Compensation provided by the State of Texas for Property Taken Through Eminent Domain

Compensation provided by the State of Texas for Property Taken Through Eminent Domain





Over the past several legislative sessions there have be several attempts to rectify the broken Texas eminent domain laws. These changes were approved through legislation with a Constitutional Amendment in 2009 and SB18 in 2011. Those who have and utilize the power of eminent domain make claims that the system is fixed and is now fair and just for the property owner.


The Texas Attorney General's (AG) office provides legal support for state agencies utilizing the governmental power of eminent domain. The primary agency that uses this power is the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which primarily uses this authority to obtain property for right of ways for road construction and expansion across the state.

Through public information requests, the last 23 condemnation cases from across the State of Texas that were processed through the Texas AG's office show that previous attempts to provide adequate compensation for victims of eminent domain have failed. The initial offer of each of these condemnation cases was compared against the final settlement. (See chart below.) In several of these cases, there appeared to be a settlement where the victim accepted the State's offer for the property, thus avoiding a hearing. (In these instances the final settlement mirrored the initial offer, which would be extremely unlikely if a hearing before the commissioners' court had actually been held.) Even including the cases that settled, the initial offer averaged only 61% of the final offer, well below what those who use this power suggest is common.

A more realistic number is found by using those eminent domain cases that were clearly disputed and went to commissioners' court for a hearing to determine value. If you factor out the cases where the initial offers were accepted, the initial offer was 40% of the final settlement.  Clearly those entities utilizing the power of eminent domain must give a fair offer to the victim for the property being taken and that is not currently happening in most instances. Note: This study only addresses land taken by the State of Texas for roadway construction; the numbers for private entities that utilize the power of eminent domain are not publicly available. It is suspected that figures for those offers would be much lower than those of the public entities.

Presently victims of eminent domain in Texas must pay their own legal expenses and any other fees associated with attempting to get fair market value for their property. To dispute the offer of a condemning entity can easily amount to thousands of dollars. Texas Senate Bill 740 and House Bill 2684 proposes that if the condemner's final offer is 20% greater or more than the amount of the initial offer, the condemning entity must pay certain expenses, including the victim’s legal fees.

Texas eminent domain laws have obviously not gone far enough to protect private property rights. Additional measures must be completed to bring Texas up to the standards that Texans expect and deserve.  If you believe in protecting private property rights, you must support Texas Senate Bill 740 mentioned above as well as 741 and 742.  Passing them would be a good start for protecting the property of hard-working Texans.

Following is a document outlining the 23 cases including initial offer the victim received from the state and the final payment. All of this information was received from the Texas Attorney General's Office, and therefore should be considered accurate.
Contact information –
Calvin Tillman – 940.453.3640
Larry Beard – 512.461.9666



Initial Offers and Final Settlements for Takings by the State of Texas for Roadways
Name
Initial Offer
Final Offer/Settlement
Percentage Initial Offer is of Final Settlement
Difference Between Initial and Final
Percent Final/Initial
Mueschke
$68,612.00
$185,656.00
37%
$117,044.00
171%
Detering
$1,361,432.00
$3,708,074.50
37%
$2,346,642.50
172%
Greyhawkesdene
$23,152.00
$36,058.00
64%
$12,906.00
56%
Cochrum
$22,620.00
$33,930.00
67%
$11,310.00
50%
Arellano
$11,312.00
$14,312.00
79%
$3,000.00
27%
Bouhoutos Brown
$74,042.00
$74,042.00
Settled
$0.00
0%
FBC Oak Cliff
$3,125.00
$3,594.00
87%
$469.00
15%
Strata Holding
$98.00
$98.00
Settled
$0.00
0%
Dickey
$130,142.00
$130,142.00
Settled
$0.00
0%
Waggoner
$1,211,629.00
$1,785,000.00
68%
$573,371.00
47%
Art Environmental
$87,402.00
$290,000.00
30%
$202,598.00
232%
Lubbock National Bank
$284,582.00
$1,075,000.00
26%
$790,418.00
278%
Downstream 973
$24,469.00
$94,000.00
26%
$69,531.00
284%
Downstream 973
$15,605.00
$73,618.00
21%
$58,013.00
372%
Lipcomb
$6,081.00
$16,000.00
38%
$9,919.00
163%
Lipcomb
$19,427.00
$134,000.00
14%
$114,573.00
590%
Branch Banking
$126,628.00
$126,628.00
Settled
$0.00
0%
JP Morgan Chase
$105,216.00
$107,277.00
Settled
$2,061.00
2%
Bank of America
$32,853.00
$34,314.00
Settled
$1,461.00
4%
Rahmati
$231,016.00
$384,000.00
60%
$152,984.00
66%
Advantage
$44,531.00
$112,643.00
40%
$68,112.00
153%
Jarmillo Revis
$5,209.00
$5,940.00
88%
$731.00
14%
Metro Joint Venture
$64,919.00
$189,152.00
34%
$124,233.00
191%








Average
41%
$202,581.59
126%


Call Your Texas Senators!!! Eminent Domain Bills to Be Voted On.

From -  Texas Landowners for Eminent Domain Reform Dear All,               (please forward this email to friends, colleagues, and other p...