Pre-Condemnation Pipeline Routing:
Pipeline projects are booming in Texas, putting thousands of landowners at risk of having their property taken by condemnation. Texas law allows pipeline companies to choose the route of a pipeline without any oversight by government or input from landowners. Federal agencies normally charged with regulating the environmental impacts have been ordered to expedite permits by the current administration. The result is that the wrong pipelines are being built in the wrong places. Because alternatives are not considered, costs to the landowners are not justified by public benefit and environmental impacts are worse than necessary. Landowners, communities and environmental groups across the nation are pushing for more balance. Our articles today link you to efforts to protect landowner rights.
David Braun, Principal, Attorney & Counselor
Consider Donating or Becoming a Member of TREAD Coalition
Texas Real Estate Advocacy & Defense Coalition (TREAD Coalition) advocates for a landowners’ rights in both eminent domain and pipeline routing, providing opportunities for landowners to get educated on the issues, defend their rights in court and affect the political process. TREAD Coalition’s top priority in next year’s legislative session is to create a public pipeline routing process and reform eminent domain. As a member of TREAD Coalition, you join other landowners, represented by professional staff, lobbyists and lawyers, to advocate for better policies and public processes on many, many issues that affect landowners – water, taxation, conservation and land use conflicts. TREAD Coalition delivers the stories of impacted landowners to the public and elected officials, then facilitates effective participation by real people in the political process. Landowners have a bigger voice and more success by funding professional advocacy and working together on targeted reform through TREAD Coalition….
Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down Pending Review
A judge on Monday ordered the Dakota Access pipeline shut down for additional environmental review more than three years after it began pumping oil — handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and delivering a blow to efforts to weaken public health and environmental protections, in a misguided policy to benefit one industry over landowners and the larger community…
Eminent Domain / Condemnation:
Texas is aggressively acquiring private land through condemnation to transport oil, natural gas, sewage and water to accommodate a growing population. If you have been contacted by any condemning authority trying to acquire your land, please contact us immediately. There are many ways to influence the condemnation process to maximize your rights under the law, but it’s important that you involve knowledgeable professionals like Braun & Gresham to help guide you through the complex, emotional process.
Patrick L. Reznik, Attorney & Counselor
Brazoria County Landowner Wins Eminent Domain Fight Against Pipeline Giant
Houston pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners will have to renegotiate with a Brazoria County landowner after a Texas appeals court ruled it couldn’t use eminent domain to cheaply acquire land for a planned pipeline. The ruling Thursday overturns a 2018 Brazoria County Court decision and throws out Enterprise’s $132,000 purchase of a 30-foot-wide swath of land from Terry Hlavinka, who had sought $3.4 million for the pipeline easement….
Negotiating New Easements
Companies, through eminent domain laws, continue to threaten condemnation and “take” an easement from Texas landowners. Landowners and attorneys often focus just on the compensation and give little attention to the easement language. Easements give utility and pipeline companies the right to enter and use a landowner’s property for construction and operation of a transmission line or pipeline, but it is important that a company’s rights be limited….
Thinking about a charitable deduction this tax season for your estate? In response to the Coronavirus, the recent CARES Act by Congress opens up the door for charitable donors to deduct donations up to 100% of his or her adjusted gross income for the 2020 tax year – but there are some complexities. At Braun & Gresham, we know that your estate plan involves protecting and using your assets during your life as well as distributing them as you choose at your death. We are here to help with all aspects of estate planning.
Margaret Menicucci, Attorney & Counselor
Making Lifetime Gifts Free From Gift Tax
Your Will is not the only mechanism for transferring your assets to family members. Often, it makes sense to give family members financial gifts or gifts of property while you are still living.
Giving More Than 60% Of Income To Charity? CARES Act Says Deduct It!
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted on March 27, 2020. In order to encourage charitable contributions in 2020 (for any charitable purpose, not just contributions to charities related to the COVID-19 crisis) the CARES Act increases the maximum 60% of AGI charitable contribution limit to 100% of AGI limit for 2020.
Braun & Gresham offers the Landowner Alert System to help our clients and colleagues stay informed on issues affecting landowners and their land. This free e-mail service comes out once every two weeks and gives subscribers exclusive access to a range of information including announcements about important changes in the law, upcoming educational seminars, insightful blogs by our legal team, and other current articles related to Texas land and law. Anyone interested in land will benefit.