New Texas Law Requires Entities with Condemnation Authority to Take Action or Lose Power
During its 2011 Regular Session, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 18, which included a provision requiring each entity vested with the power of condemnation to provide certain information to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The information must be submitted by December 31, 2012, or the entity's power to condemn will expire.
Senate Bill 18 added Section 2206.101 to the Texas Government Code. That section requires all entities—both public and private—that are vested with the power of eminent domain to send to the Comptroller a letter stating that the entity has eminent domain authority and identifying the state law that gives the entity that authority. The information must be submitted no later than December 31, 2012, and must be sent by certified mail. If an entity does not make the required submission, then its authority to exercise the power of eminent domain expires on September 1, 2013.
Senate Bill 18 also implemented numerous changes in the law governing the exercise of the power of condemnation. Among other things, the statute establishes specific requirements for the negotiation process, requires the disclosure of certain information to landowners from whom an entity seeks to acquire property, specifies steps entities must take to authorize and initiate condemnation proceedings, extends the condemnation timeline, and modifies the factors that can be considered in determining just compensation.