Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-523 Page: 4 of 7
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Hoa. Basoem Giles, page 4 (0-523)
soldoff the area and not less than ane-s irteenth (1/16)
of the value ( all other minerals that may be prodwaed,
and a additional su of twenty-five cents an acre per year
for each year thereafter until pr4 action is secured. When
production has been secured in cammercal quantities and
the payment of royalty begins and continues to be paid,
the owner shall be exempt fr further annual rental pa mente
on the acreage. The provisions of this article in respect to
payments of rental after production and the cessat of pro-
duction shall apply to leases heretofore issued by t-e State
on any area except lands belonging to the State University and
eleemonynary institutions. If production should cease and
royalty not be paid, the owner of the lease shall, at the end
of the lease year in which the royalty eased to be paid and
annually thereafter in advance, pay twenty-five cents per
acre so Icng as such owner may desire to maintain the rights
acquired under the lease, not to exceed five (5) years fram
the date of said lease."
You will observe that the final sentence of Section 0
above 1&its the time for which a lease may be kept in force by payment
o 25 &dnttpt a~:i terr8ntal to a period of five years. In your letter
you state that the lessee of the particular lease in question began the
payment of reduced rentals of 25 cents per acre in 1931, or eight years
ago. We think clearly that if Section 10 of Chapter 271 could be hel3
to apply to the river bed lease- in question which was issue in 1929,
nevertheless, such lease after the year 1936 was not entitl dto the. bene-
fit of the reduced rental provi ons of Chapter 271.
However, as the question as to the effect of Section 10 of
Article 521o will doubtless often arise in the future with flspeot to
river bed leases where the five year limitation period has not expired, we
believe the question of the application of Chapter 271 to any such leases-
on river beds can and should be answered at this time without respect to
the expiration or non-expiration of the five year limitation period. In
determining the effect of Section 10, Article 521e on river bed leases,
two questions are involved. First, does Section 10 by its term apply to
or purport to apply to river bed leases? Sc nd, if Section 10 is con-
strutdlas applying to or purporting to apply to river bed leases, then is
such statute, so construed, constitutional? Upon examining the caption
of Chapter 271, Acts of 1931 (Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes, Article
5421c), we do not find in any part thereof any mentionca a subject relat-
ing to the lease, sale or development of river bed areas. The caption
is confined to a statement that the act is one to "reguate the sale and
lease of lands set apart for the benefit of the public free school fund,
and to provide for the dispositio~ and sale of minerals conCtained in all
islands, salt waters, lakes, bays, inlets, marshes and rvefs owned by the
State within the Jurisdiction of Texas,, and all unsold public free school
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: O-523, text, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth257705/m1/4/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.