Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Relating to transparency in the reporting and public availability of information regarding eminent domain authority; providing a civil penalty.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1812 would add a new subchapter to Chapter 2206 (Eminent Domain) of the Government Code. Specifically, this new subchapter would require the comptroller to create and manage a website database for eminent domain. The comptroller would have to update this database at least annually. Any entities that hold eminent domain authority would have to disclose certain information published in this database, which would be open to the public.
The information of each entity, with eminent domain authority, must include:
An entity with eminent domain authority is liable for a civil penalty of no more than $1,000 if it fails to provide the comptroller with the necessary information for the database. However, if the entity fails to submit the information in a timely manner, it risks losing its eminent domain authority.
Although the Texas constitution says eminent domain is permissive as long as it is for public use, this authority can easily be used for other purposes. Ultimately, private property owners are the ones who suffer through expropriation.
Currently thousands of entities hold eminent domain authority; unfortunately, it is not clear who holds this authority and what they use it for. Texas citizens have a right to know who holds this authority and this legislation would provide the means for them to know.
We support SB 1812 because it supports our private property rights principle and limited government principle. it is important that the government is transparent on who holds this authority, for what purpose, and how it is used so that citizens can understand if the practice is being abused.