Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution (discussion page)

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This page is available for comment and discussion regarding the page Article XVI, Section 59 of the Texas Constitution.

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Corzelius v. Harrell, 143 Tex. 509, 186 S.W.2d 961 (1945).

41 SW2d 741

Tri-City Fresh Water Supply Dist. No.2 v. Mann, 142 S.W.2d 945, 946 (Tex. 1940) (stating that a special water district may exercise only those powers that are expressly granted or clearly implied from the express powers)

City of San Antonio v. Trease, 243 S.W.2d 187, 189 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1951, writ ref’d) (discussing the Authority’s broad and extensive powers)

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We note that article XVI, section 59 of the Texas constitution provides that the legislature shall not provide for any indebtedness against a district “unless such proposition shall f%st be subrmtted to the qualified property tax-paying voters of such district and the proposition adopted.” Tar Const. art XVI, 3 59(c). The authority’s enabling act was not subject to voter approval.6 This constitutional limitation, however, applies to indebtedness that is setviced by a tax. Bonds, notes, and other debts payable out of revenues, which are not serviced by a tax, do not constitute an inde under articleXVI, section 59. See generally Lower Colorado River Auth v. McGraw, 83 S.W.2d 629, 633 vex. 1935); see ako Brams River Conservation and Rechmation Did. v. M&aw, 91 S.W.2d 665,672 (Tex 1936)

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It must be pointed out that the Authority has identified only three takings claims that have been filed in the more than fifteen years that it has been in operation. While the expense of such litigation cannot be denied, groundwater regulation need not result in takings liability. The Legislature's general approach to such regulation has been to require that all relevant factors be taken into account. The Legislature can discharge its responsibility under the Conservation Amendment without triggering the Takings Clause. But the Takings Clause ensures that the problems of a limited public resource—the water supply—are shared by the public, not foisted onto a few. We cannot know, of course, the extent to which the Authority's fears will yet materialize, but the burden of the Takings Clause on government is no reason to excuse its applicability.

Edwards Aquifer Auth. v. Day, 369 S.W.3d 814, 843-44 (Tex. 2012)


Parker v. San Jacinto County Water Control and Improvement District No. I, 273 S.W.2d 586 (Tex. 1954)

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A measure that is contrary to the purposes of the article XVI, section 59 or is solely recreational in purpose is not a permissible use of tax or tax bond funds.

https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/48morales/op/1996/pdf/dm0420.pdf

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Texas Water Rights Commission v. Wright, 464 S.W.2d 642 (Tex. 1971)

In 1917, Texas adopted Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, commonly called the Conservation Amendment. Naming waters specifically, the amendment declared that the conservation and preservation of natural resources are public rights and duties. It then ordered that 'the Legislature shall pass all such laws as may be appropriate thereto.' The statutes with which we are here concerned were enacted as a part of that program for the development, preservation, and conservation of the State's natural resources. Clark v. Briscoe Irr. Co., 200 S.W.2d 674 (Tex.Civ.App.1947, no writ).

By way of summary, the vested rights which the permittees held by force of the two water permits, were rights limited to the beneficial use of water. Permittees at no time were vested with the right of non-use of the water for an indefinite period of time. At all relevant times, the State had rights as the owner of the water. It also had a constitutional duty to preserve and conserve its water.