|Property Rights Task Force|
Chairman: Representative Bill Callegari, District 132
The Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. City of New London, put a spotlight on the need to define the operative term of “public use” and limit governments’ expansive powers to invoke eminent domain to the detriment of citizens and business. Specifically, the Task Force will consider if recently passed legislation (SB 7, 79-2) provides adequate protections for property owners against further encroachment by the government, and whether a constitutional amendment is necessary. Furthermore, there is a slowly growing threat posed by lawsuits and other attempts to “game” eminent domain and permitting processes to the detriment of landowners and taxpayers.
Homes, industrial facilities, major retail outlets and key infrastructure like highways are the foundation of our economy because they generate and facilitate commerce. The use of eminent domain comes into play when there is a conflict between demands of government and the rights of the private sector and homeowners. How to balance their competing needs and ensure the greatest degree of fairness for all is critical to the overall success of the economy.
Furthermore, the Land Use Task Force is designed to consider proposals such as:
- An enhanced “right to farm” act similar to one enacted in Michigan
- A “right to forestry” act similar to ones enacted in Georgia and Mississippi.
- Reform of nuisance laws/standards, and the appropriate function of TCEQ in mediating these disputes.
- A “buyer beware” act to encourage personal responsibility and decision-making when purchasing a home or developing a neighborhood near industrial or waste facilities, or property previously used by industrial or waste companies.
- Limitations on “environmental racism” claims
Also, please see the TCCRI research report, Taxation by Eminent Domain.
Staff Contact: Brent Connett email@example.com or 512-474-6042