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There is an indeterminate fiscal impact to the state from the provisions of the bill due to the
case by case nature of the requirements on previous and future condemnations.
Under current law, a private property owner may repurchase land acquired through eminent domain if within ten years the property is not used for the stated public use. However, the property owner cannot purchase the land if the entity has made "actual progress" towards the public use.
SB 554 would increase the number of completed actions that the entity must take to demonstrate "actual progress" from two to three, as well as decrease the number of actions available to demonstrate actual progress from seven to five. However, port authorities and navigation districts would only be required to complete one of the stated actions within ten years.
Texas Action recommends supporting this bill because it promotes the principles of property rights and free markets. Condemning entities should be placed under extreme scrutiny to use the property they condemn, and if they do not use the land for its stated purpose, then the original owner should be able to repurchase that land without technicalities hindering that repurchase.