Texans for Property Rights is a diverse coalition of organizations who believe in protecting the private property rights of Texans against abusive practices, particularly by private corporations who use the government sponsored power of eminent domain. Our mission is to create a unified voice for Texas property owners to demand legislative action to protect all Texans’ inherent right to private property.
- Property owners should be treated fairly and respectfully when faced with the prospect of eminent domain.
- Condemnors should not use the power of eminent domain as a threat in negotiations with property owners.
- Property owners should be on a level playing field with the large, wealthy corporations who employ the power of forced condemnation.
- Property owners should not bear the burden of paying to defend their property from being forcibly taken.
- As provided in the U.S. and Texas constitutions, property owners should never be offered less than the fair market value of damages.
- More transparency must exist when a private company uses a governmental power.
- Property owners should be protected by statute from bad actors using the governmental power of eminent domain.
- Companies using the governmental power of eminent domain should be accountable to public and government oversight at all levels.
- When companies profit from the forced taking of property, the property owner should be entitled to compensation based on the economic value of the project.
Wherever we go throughout Texas, our organizations are approached by property owners who have been abused by private corporations using, or threatening to use, the government sponsored power of eminent domain. These individuals feel abandoned by the very government who is supposed to protect and defend their rights as citizens.
Texas landowners recognize that the state’s population is growing at a rapid pace. There is an increasing need for more land for public resources such as energy and transportation. But landowners also recognize that their property rights must be better protected, not only for themselves, but also for future generations.
Texans take great pride in their land, and they don’t want to see their private property rights taken advantage of. The condemnation process is not a willing buyer and willing seller transaction. It’s a legally forced sale. Therefore, it’s necessary to make further improvements to the laws that govern the use of eminent domain so Texas landowners can have more assurance that this process is fair and respectful of their private property rights when they are forced to sell their land.
|95 percent of Texas is privately owned.|
|In a survey conducted by Texans for Property Rights, almost 60 percent of respondents said their taking was by a private company, not a governmental entity.|
|Only 2% of respondents believed the initial offer was fair, and 13% of respondents thought the final offer was fair.|
|Of respondents who took their condemnation to a special commissioner’s hearing or trial court, 77% received at least 20% more than the final written offer from the condemnor.|