AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation has authored a policy perspective, Property Rights in Texas: Heading in the Right Direction, discussing Texas’ strengths as a strong property rights state with relatively limited land-use controls.
Most Texas cities and counties have far less restrictive land-use controls than are found on the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest, and it has had few urban redevelopment projects typical of the Northeast and Midwest.
“Instead of people moving out of Texas to find affordable housing, Texans’ strong bias towards property rights as reflected in our relative lack of land use controls means the opposite happens,” said Bill Peacock, the Foundation’s Vice President of Research and Director of its Center for Economic Freedom. “In fact, people make the move to Texas and we all benefit.”
In the past, Texas courts have typically followed the lead of the federal courts, granting broad latitude to the legislative and executive branches when they promulgate regulations, exercise eminent domain authority, and engage in other activities that negatively affect property rights. The state and local governments often took advantage of this leeway.
The Texas Legislature and the Texas Supreme Court have made significant improvements in property rights protections in recent years. In both cases the changes in law represent a reversal of years of erosion of the property rights of Texans. Property owners, legislators, and judges should continue to press forward to take advantage of and extend these recent gains.
Bill Peacock is the Vice President of Research and Planning and Director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation
is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin.
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