BRYAN/COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) -Opponents of the Texas Central High-Speed Rail project continue to put pressure on the rail company.
The latest action against the railway comes nearly two weeks after a court filing revealed that Central Texas Railroad has tax issues with several Brazos Valley counties. According to documents filed with the Supreme Court of Texas, attorneys representing Dallas, Ellis, Navarro, Freestone, Limestone, Leon, Madison, Grimes, Waller, and Harris Counties say the railway owes $622,978 in taxes and counting. Ellis County is still in the process of determining the exact amount of back taxes owed.
Thursday, 12 members of the Texas Legislature filed a letter with the Supreme Court of Texas opposing the rail company. Those submitting the letter include Texas House District 13 Rep. Ben Leman, State Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst of District 18, State Senator Charles Schwertner of District 5, Texas House District 12 Rep. Kyle Kacal, and others.
Leman and other concerned elected officials say the end of the line is near for the railway. The group’s letter to the supreme court of Texas says they’re toughening its stance against what they say is Texas Centrals “Scheme to acquire land under the threat of eminent domain.”
“This attempted use of eminent domain has been like none other anyone has ever experienced in the state of Texas,” said Leman. “Through lies, lies, and more lies this entity has attempted to beat down the landowners, to submit, get them to submit into executing these contracts through a claim to have eminent domain.”
Leman once chaired the group Texans Against High Speed Rail, now Chaired by Leon County property owner Kyle Workman. The group represents residents like him that have interests along the proposed railway. Workman says Texas Central’s tax problems prove they cant be trusted.
“They were telling landowners that they had this power vested in themselves we don’t believe they had in fact the Texas supreme court has not ruled on that,” said Workman.
Rep. Leman says this needs to be over for landowners that have suffered for more than 10 years.
“At the end of the day this project is dead in the sense of it has no money, it cannot move forward. It doesn’t have any permits, they’re not even applying for the permits,” said Leman. " It just needs, the nail needs to pin in the coffin. It needs to be over.”
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