TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

SUBTITLE B. SURVEYS AND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 51. LAND, TIMBER, AND SURFACE RESOURCES

SUBCHAPTER B. PROVISIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO THE MANAGEMENT OF



§ 51.011. MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL LAND.
     (a) Any land that is set apart to the permanent school fund under the constitution and laws of this state together with the mineral estate in riverbeds, channels, and the tidelands, including islands, shall be subject to the sole and exclusive management and control of the school land board and the commissioner under the provisions of this chapter and other applicable law.
     (a-1) The board may acquire, sell, lease, trade, improve, or otherwise manage, control, or use land that is set apart to the permanent school fund in any manner, at such prices, and under such terms and conditions as the board finds to be in the best interest of the fund.
     (a-2) Not later than October 15 of each year, the board shall report to the Legislative Budget Board the sale of any land that is set apart to the permanent school fund for less than appraised value or the purchase of any land that is set apart to the permanent school fund for more than appraised value during the preceding state fiscal year.
     (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, land within 2,500 feet of a military base may not be sold or leased and an easement over the land may not be granted unless the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, after consultation with appropriate military authorities, determines that the grant will not adversely affect the mission of the military base.
     (c) Any public land may be sold or leased, or an easement over the property may be granted, to the United States for the use and benefit of the United States armed forces if the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, after consultation with appropriate military authorities, determines that the sale, lease, or easement would materially assist the military in accomplishing its mission. A sale, lease, or easement under this subsection must be at market value. The state shall retain all minerals it owns with respect to the land, but it may relinquish the right to use the surface to extract them.
     (d) The commissioner shall determine whether a conveyance under this section takes priority over any preference otherwise granted by law, including the preferential right of a surrounding landowner. In making the determination, the commissioner must only consider the interests of preference holders who assert their preferences in writing after notice of the proposed conveyance is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. The commissioner shall, in the commissioner's discretion, balance the competing interests of the preference holders and the military. The commissioner's determination is final. After land is conveyed to the military, all competing preferences terminate.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 149, § 13, eff. May 27, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 280, § 2, eff. June 18, 2003;

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., ch. 1098, § 3, 4, eff. June 18, 2005.

§ 51.012. COMMISSIONER'S AUTHORITY.
     Subject to the authority of the board and to exceptions and restrictions that may be imposed by the constitution and laws of this state, the commissioner is vested with the authority necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter relating to the sale and lease of public school land and to the protection of this land from free use and occupancy and from unlawful enclosure.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 280, § 3, eff. June 18, 2003.

§ 51.0125. LAND USED BY STATE AGENCY.
     Land that belongs to the permanent school fund as a result of having been deeded or given to the state and that has been used in the past by a state agency shall be first offered for sale or lease to state agencies before it can be sold or leased to any other party. No permanent school fund land may be used by a state agency without market value compensation to the permanent school fund.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 991, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 280, § 4, eff. June 18, 2003.

§ 51.013. CLASSIFICATION AND VALUATION OF LAND.
     (a) As the public interest may require, the commissioner shall classify or reclassify all public school land and shall include a designation of the land, including a classification as agricultural, grazing, timber, or a combination of these classifications based on the facts in the particular case.
     (b) After the classification and determination of market value is entered on the records of the land office, no further action needs to be taken by the commissioner and no notice is required to be given to the county clerk for the classification and determination of market value to be effective.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 280, § 5, eff. June 18, 2003.

§ 51.014. RULES.
     (a) The commissioner may adopt rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and may alter or amend the rules to protect the public interest.
     (b) Before rules are adopted under Subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall submit the rules to the governor for his approval.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 51.015. FORMS.
     The commissioner shall adopt forms that are necessary or proper to transact business that he is required to transact and may request that the attorney general prepare the forms.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 51.016. DUTIES OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
     The attorney general shall furnish the commissioner with advice and legal assistance that may be required to execute the provisions of this chapter.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 51.017. FURNISHING DATA TO BOARD OF EDUCATION.
     On request, the commissioner shall furnish to the State Board of Education all available data.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 51.018. RECORDS AND ACCOUNTS.
     The commissioner shall keep in his custody as records of his office each application, affidavit, obligation, and paper relating to the sale and lease of public school land and shall keep accurate accounts with each purchaser or lessee.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2418, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 280, § 6, eff. June 18, 2003.

§ 51.019. SPECIAL FEE.
     Each bidder on a mineral lease or land sale by the board shall remit by separate check a special sale fee in the amount and in the manner provided in Section 32.110 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2419, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 624, § 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

§ 51.020. REFUNDS.
     (a) On presentation of proper proof, money paid in good faith to a fund in the State Treasury for public land or by a lessee of public land or minerals to which the fund is not entitled may be offset or credited by the commissioner against other sums owing or shall be refunded by the comptroller in the following instances:
          (1) if an error is made in good faith and the refund, stating to whom payment is to be made, is supported by the official signature of the commissioner or the attorney general;
          (2) if the payment is made according to law but title cannot issue or possession cannot pass because of a conflict in boundaries, an erroneous sale, an erroneous lease, or other cause;
          (3) if there is a sale of leased land;
          (4) if lease money is paid on a previous forfeited sale and the sale has been reinstated and the interest paid;
          (5) if erroneous timber sales or leases have been made;
          (6) if overpayments have been made in final payments to the comptroller because of decreased acreage or other cause;
          (7) if reduction has been made in acreage of timber sold or leased; or
          (8) if payments are made in good faith by claimants of land where the applicants have no right to purchase the land as revealed by investigation of title.
     (b) After specific appropriations are made according to law, refunds shall be paid from the funds to which the payments have been credited.
     (c) Any claim for refund except a refund covered by Subdivision (1) of Subsection (a) of this section shall be certified by the commissioner, verified by the affidavit of the claimant, and approved by the attorney general as to the correctness and as to whom the refund is due.
     (d) In the event of a failure of title or right of possession, money paid by any purchaser or lessee who subsequently sells the land or assigns the lease shall be refunded to the person on whom the loss falls.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2419, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 642, § 5, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1423, § 14.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.