What is the legal procedure for county disposal of surplus
or salvage property?
- Texas Local Government Code Chapter 263, Subchapter D
- “Salvage property” means personal property, other than items routinely discarded as waste, that because of use, time, accident, or any other cause is so worn, damaged, or obsolete that it has no value for the purpose for which it was originally intended.
- “Surplus property” means personal property that:
- is not salvage property or items routinely discarded as waste;
- is not currently needed by its owner;
- is not required for the owner’s foreseeable needs; and
- possesses some usefulness for the purpose for which it was intended.
- The commissioners court may:
- periodically sell the county’s surplus or salvage property by competitive bid or auction; however, competitive bidding or an auction is not necessary if the purchaser is another county or a political subdivision within the county that is selling the surplus or salvage property;
- offer the property as a trade-in for new property of the same general type if the commissioners court considers that action to be in the best interests of the county;
- order any of the property to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as worthless if the commissioners court tries to sell that property and is unable to do so because no bids are made;
- dispose of the property by donating it to a civic or charitable organization located in the county if the commissioners court determines that:
- undertaking to sell the property under would likely result in no bids or a bid price that is less than the county’s expenses required for the bid process;
- the donation serves a public purpose; and
- the organization will provide the county with adequate consideration, such as relieving the county of transportation or disposal expenses related to the property;
- transfer gambling equipment in the possession of the county following its forfeiture to the state to the Texas Building and Procurement Commission for sale under Section 2175.904, Government Code; or
- order any vehicle retired under a program designed to encourage the use of low-emission vehicles to be crushed and recycled, if practicable, without a competitive bid or auction.
- The commissioners court is required to publish notice of a sale of surplus or salvage property in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county. Local Government Code 263.153 and subsequent sections discuss the required notice procedures, record-keeping, and how to handle any resulting proceeds.