H.B. 2521

By: Coleman

County Affairs

Committee Report (Unamended)






Interested parties explain that oil and gas companies negotiate directly with the Texas General Land Office for leases underneath county roads and the lease revenue is then deposited directly into the state's general revenue fund.  The parties cite recent reports indicating that rebuilding a road destroyed by oil and gas exploration's heavy traffic and overweight trucks can cost between $350,000 and $500,000 per mile. Since road maintenance is a county responsibility, the parties have expressed concern regarding local taxpayers bearing the financial burden of repairing these roads while the state benefits from the revenue generated by the oil and gas leases of the right-of-way and suggest that without sufficient revenue sources, the county road system will fail and cause a possible public safety issue. H.B. 2521 seeks to offset the cost of maintaining the county road system under these circumstances.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.




It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.




H.B. 2521 amends the Natural Resources Code to require the comptroller of public accounts to the extent permissible under the Texas Constitution to remit to a county the amount received from lease payments from land owned in fee simple by the county that is leased for oil and natural gas production. The bill requires the remitted money to be deposited to the credit of the county road and bridge fund and restricts the use of such money by the county to road maintenance purposes.




September 1, 2015.