78th Texas Legislature67 Legislative Bills Address Property Taxes
The 78th Texas Legislature passed 67 property tax and related bills that refine the property tax process, along with five constitutional amendment resolutions. These bills address areas of property tax administration, exemptions, appraisal, protests, tax rate adoption, tax collection, and other areas. These 67 bills went to Governor Rick Perry for his approval or veto by June 22.
Governor Perry vetoed two bills — House Bill (H.B.) 3232 and Senate Bill (S.B.) 1659.
In comparison, 68 property tax bills (with two vetoed) passed in the 2001 regular session, and 64 property tax bills passed in the 1999 regular legislative session.
The August issue of STATEMENT will include an insert that will explain each legislative change by Property Tax Code section and changes in related laws for administration, such as open meetings, public records, and other areas.
New legislation also will be addressed at the Comptroller’s regional seminars in July and August. The seminar dates and locations are found here in this issue.
Each bill is listed below by topic, including the bill's effective date in parenthesis. If the governor vetoed a bill, the word "vetoed" appears in front of the bill’s description.
H.B. 193 deletes restrictions on the size of an appraisal review board (ARB) based on county population. The appraisal district board of directors may appoint the number of ARB members that the directors consider appropriate, with a minimum of three ARB members. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 703 addresses properties that are appraised by one or more appraisal districts. It requires that if the chief appraisers do not agree to one appraised value for an overlapping property by May 1, then each appraisal district shall enter in the appraisal records the lowest appraised or market value determined by the chief appraisers. If a protest, appeal, or other action reduces that value, then the chief appraiser notifies the other districts to reduce the value. (Effective January 1, 2004) (This provision is also in H.B. 1082 discussed later under Protests.)
H.B. 983 grants an appraisal district access to the criminal history record maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety for any person who is applying for appraisal district employment. (Effective June 20, 2003)
H.B. 2043 modifies the procedures for appointing appraisal district directors to state that the ballot prepared by the chief appraiser includes those names timely submitted and that taxing units submit their votes to the chief appraiser before December 15, rather than November 15. The chief appraiser must submit the results to the taxing units by December 31, rather than December 1. The change applies to the appointment procedures for the fall of 2003 for the directors whose terms begin January 1, 2004. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 726 changes the competitive bidding requirements for county appraisal districts. Titled as “purchasing and contracting authority,” the new Tax Code provision requires an appraisal district to follow the same requirements and have the same authority as the laws that apply to a municipality under Local Government Code Chapter 252, rather than those of a county. (Effective July 1, 2003)
S.B. 902 sets out that an appraisal district depository shall be for a two-year term, with agreement between the two parties to extend for a second two-year term. The appraisal district must then solicit bids for the depository. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 1452 sets forth penalties for an ARB member or chief appraiser who communicate on specific evidence, argument, facts, merits, or property involved in a hearing pending before the ARB in violation of the ex parte communications provisions of Tax Code Section 41.66(f). The offense is a Class C misdemeanor. The penalty does not apply to communications between the ARB and its legal counsel or in other communications between the ARB and the chief appraiser. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 1833 adds to the requirements for electronic communication between the chief appraiser and a property owner. For some appraisal districts, compliance begins January 1, 2005; for appraisal districts in counties with a population of 500,000 or less, the date is January 1, 2006. The bill requires the appraisal district to establish a means of protecting an e-mail address and for confirming delivery of a communication between the two parties. The comptroller by rule shall prescribe acceptable media, formats, content, and methods for exchanging information for notices of appraised value, required by Tax Code Section 25.19. The comptroller may prescribe requirements for electronic information for other notices, renditions, and applications. If a property owner having 25 or more accounts request an agreement for delivering Section 25.19 (appraisal) notices electronically, the chief appraiser shall comply. (Effective January 1, 2005 and January 1, 2006) (The provisions for electronic communication are also in S.B. 340 discussed later under Appraisal.)
H.B. 136 allows a county, city, or junior college district to place a tax limitation on the homesteads of senior citizens and disabled homeowners. The taxing unit’s governing body or its voters, by petition and election, may adopt the exemption and, if so, permit the tax limitation. Currently, only homeowners 65 or older receive a school tax limitation, also called tax ceiling, on their homestead taxes. H.B. 136 includes deductions in the effective and rollback tax rates for the taxes and value for those homesteads that have the limitation. This is similar to the deductions that school districts have for the school tax limitation. H.B. 136 applies to taxes imposed on or after 2004, if Texas voters approve the constitutional amendment. H.B. 136 also provides that the homeowners with the tax limitation may transfer the same percentage of taxes paid to another qualified homestead, just as they can with the school taxes. It retains the tax limitation for a surviving spouse who is 55 years of age or older and resides (and continues to reside) in the residence qualified by the deceased qualified homeowner. (Effective January 1, 2004) H.B. 136 applies to taxes imposed on or after 2004, if Texas voters approve the constitutional amendment September 13, 2003. House Joint Resolution (H.J.R.) 16 would add subsection (h) to Article 8, Section 1-b, Texas Constitution, to allow a county, city, or junior college to limit the property taxes on the homesteads of senior citizens and disabled homeowners.
H.B. 179 adds the county fair association exemption to the list of those exemptions that do not require an annual application. Once allowed the exemption, the association would not have to apply in subsequent years unless the qualifications change or the chief appraiser requires a new application. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 217 extends the school tax limitation to homesteads of the disabled homeowner. It provides that the homeowners with the school tax limitation may transfer the same percentage of taxes paid to another qualified homestead. It also keeps the tax limitation in effect for a surviving spouse who is 55 years of age or older and resides (and continues to reside) in the residence qualified by the deceased qualified homeowner.
H.B. 217 includes deductions in the rollback tax rate for the taxes and value for those homesteads that have the limitation. This is similar to the deductions that school districts have for the over-65 homeowners tax limitation. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.J.R. 21 proposes a constitutional amendment for Texas voters to approve September 13, 2003. It would amend subsection (d) of Article 8, Section 1-b, Texas Constitution, to provide for the tax limitation for disabled homeowners for their school taxes.
H.B. 500 adds a new section to Tax Code Chapter 11. The new section requires that the chief appraiser keep confidential a driver’s license number, personal identification certificate number, or social security number provided on an exemption application. The information may be disclosed only in specific circumstances, similar to those circumstances found in Tax Code Section 22.27 for renditions. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 1223 sets a time period that a qualified homeowner temporarily may not occupy a residence homestead and still receive homestead exemptions. The homestead does not lose its homestead status if the homeowner does not establish a different principal residence, intends to return and occupy the residence, and has a temporary absence for a period of less than two years. This bill excludes homeowners in military service or in a facility providing services related to health, infirmity, or aging from the two-year provision, so they continue to benefit from the exemption. (Effective June 18, 2003)
H.B. 1278 grants property owned by a religious organization an exemption if the property is leased for use as a school or land that is owned with the intent of expanding or constructing a religious facility. If the land (or a part of it) is sold or otherwise transferred to another person, then a rollback tax is imposed for the five years preceding the year of the sale, plus seven percent interest, for each year the land received the exemption. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.J.R. 55 is the proposed constitutional amendment to add the exemptions outlined in H.B. 1278 to Article 8, Section 2(a), Texas Constitution. Texas voters will vote on the proposed amendment September 13, 2003.
H.B. 2147 changes the deadline for filing of late homestead exemption applications to be no later than one year after the delinquency date for the tax year. It deletes the language “were paid or became delinquent, whichever is earlier.” (Effective June 20, 2003)
H.B. 2383 addresses exempting public property owned by the state or a taxing unit and leased to a religious organization. The property receives the religious organization exemption if the property is used as a place of regular religious worship and meets the other requirements of Tax Code Section 11.20. The religious organization applies and takes other action as required in Section 11.20 as if the organization owned the property. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 2416 changes the period from three years to five years that an incomplete improvement owned by nonprofit organizations may be exempt from property taxation. The change applies to charitable organizations (both total and primarily), youth development associations, religious organizations, schools, nonprofit water and wastewater service corporations, and the miscellaneous organizations section in Tax Code Chapter 11. However, on January 1, 2006, the time period reverts back to three years. H.B. 2416 also provides that there is no agricultural rollback tax on land owned by a charitable organization qualified under Tax Code Section 11.18(d) for providing housing and related services to persons 62 years of age or older in a retirement community if the land is eligible for the exemption within five years. (Effective September 1, 2003 and January 1, 2006)
H.B. 3546 changes the requirements for exemption for community housing development organizations that improve property for low-income and moderate-income housing, also known as CHODOs. The bill adds three new Tax Code sections for constructing or rehabilitating low-income housing for property not previously exempt, for monitoring compliance with the exemptions, and for the appraisal of these properties. (Effective January 1, 2004)
S.B. 510 received the honor as the first property tax bill to go to the Governor. The Governor signed S.B. 510 on April 10. The bill amends Property Tax Code Section 11.14 that personal property not held for the production of income is exempt, except for "a structure that a person owns which is substantially affixed to real estate and is used or occupied as a residential dwelling." It repeals Section 11.142 concerning travel trailer appraisal. The law provides in the clause dealing with the effective date that it "applies to taxes imposed for 2002 and thereafter.” (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 510, however, requires a constitutional amendment. Senate Joint Resolution (S.J.R.) 25 will be on the September 13 ballot and includes a "temporary provision" to permit the retroactive application of the law to January 1, 2002. The law states that it applies to 2002 taxes, if the exemption passes. Any determination of 2002 tax refunds and taxability of travel trailers for 2003 must be made locally or through an attorney general's opinion.
S.B. 658 continues the exemption of motor vehicles used for personal use. The bill repeals the subsection that would have terminated the leased vehicle exemption on December 31, 2003. (Effective June 20, 2003)
H.B. 1460 changes the requirements on using the income method of appraisal. If the chief appraiser determines that the most appropriate method to determine market value is the income approach, the appraiser shall perform certain analyses and projections. The chief appraiser shall consider historical information and trends, current supply and demand factors, and anticipated events such as competition. It adds a new Tax Code section to provide that the chief appraiser shall analyze the effect on the market value of real property from any tangible personal property (including trade fixtures), intangible personal property, or other property not part of the real property. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 2726 allows a property owner to waive the real property inventory appraisal that appraises the inventory at the price for which it would sell as a unit. The property owner should file a waiver stating that the real property be appraised individually rather than as a unit. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 3607 adds to the definition of “net-to-land” for the open-space land appraisal. The chief appraiser may not include hunting or recreational leases in the net-to-land calculations for land that qualifies for wildlife management appraisal. (Effective January 1, 2004)
S.B. 340 changes the rendition requirements for property owners, beginning January 1, 2004. It outlines what is required on a rendition statement for tangible personal property used to produce income, including the owner’s good faith estimate of value, property location and description, and other information. Limited information is required if the property owner believes that the aggregate total is less than $20,000 in value. It provides that the chief appraiser may request supporting information on how the owner determined the reported value. If property owners ask in writing for an extension until May 15, rather than April 30, to file their renditions, the chief appraisers must do so. Penalties are set out for failure to file a rendition statement or property report and for fraud or intent to evade taxation. S.B. 340 also contains the same provisions as S.B. 1833 (discussed earlier under Tax Administration about requirements for electronic communication between the chief appraiser and a property owner. The law is effective on January 1, 2005 and for smaller counties January 1, 2006. The bill also amends the limited appraisal of homesteads found in Tax Code Section 23.23 to permit a replacement structure for mold or water damage. (Effective January 1, 2004)
S.B. 1646 addresses the timber appraisal process, including changes to the net-to-land definition and the capitalization rate. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 893 requires the chief appraiser to certify any change by final order from a court decision to each taxing unit not later than the 45th day after the final decision. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 1082 changes the provisions for a taxpayer protest on unequal appraisal to other properties. It adds that the appraisal ratio of the property is equal to or less than the median level of appraisal of the sample of properties or that the appraised value of the property is equal to or less than the median appraised value of a reasonable number of comparable properties. For court cases, it clarifies that the market value of residence homesteads is used for the comparisons, not any limited value imposed by Tax Code Section 23.23. It provides for a consolidated court appeal of the appraisal review board decisions of several appraisal districts for a regulated, multicounty property into one court case. H.B. 1082 also contains the same provisions as H.B. 703 (discussed earlier under Tax Administration) for properties that are appraised by one or more appraisal districts. (Effective September 1, 2003)
Tax rate adoption
H.B. 390 addresses calculation of the effective and rollback tax rates, dealing with the captured appraised value located in a tax increment financing (TIF) zone. The bill provides that the captured appraised value that corresponds to the taxes deposited in the TIF fund does not include any value that was included in the “new property value,” as defined by Tax Code Section 26.012. This provision prevents the taxing unit from deducting the same value in two different places in the calculation steps, with any rate calculation on or after that date. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 2964 outlines the budget and tax rate hearing for a municipal school district (established under former Education Code Chapter 24). The municipal school district holds a joint budget and tax rate hearing with the city in which it is located. It includes how many members must be present and voting for adoption. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 1541 adds a hearing and notice of tax rate to the Water Code for those water districts governed by Water Code Chapter 49. The notice is similar to those published by other types of taxing units for a proposed tax rate. The notice includes information for both the preceding and current year, including the tax rate, the difference in the rate and percentage increase or decrease, the average appraised value of a residence homestead, the taxes on that average homestead value, and the difference in the taxes. The notice is published at least seven (7) days before the hearing or mailed to each owner at least 10 days before the hearing date. For the 2003 tax rate, it applies to any water district that adopts the 2003 tax rate on or after September 1, 2003. (Effective June 18, 2003)
S.B. 392 also sets out a hearing and notice of tax rate in the Water Code for water districts. Very similar to the provisions above in H.B. 1541, this bill requires the notice to also include the water district board members’ names and how each member voted on the proposed tax rate and a statement about the taxpayers’ right to a rollback election. It contains a provision on how to calculate a water district rollback tax rate. For the 2003 tax rate, it applies to any water district that adopts the 2003 tax rate on or after September 1, 2003. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 657 also addresses effective and rollback tax rate calculations for property value located in a TIF zone. The bill repeals language that provided the exclusion of captured value from these calculations only for taxing units located in counties with a population less than 500,000. It now applies to all taxing units, except school districts. School districts have their own step for adjusting the rollback tax rate for a TIF. S.B. 657 also provides that the tax increment is not excluded in the rate calculations if there is no portion of captured appraised value excluded in the calculations for the current year. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.B. 195 addresses the transfer of delinquent county education district (CED) taxes. The successor-in-interest to a CED transfers any money collected after August 31, 1993, less collection costs, to the component school districts in the CED by September 15, 2003. The successor-in-interest also transfers any uncollected delinquent taxes to each component school district. Each component school district is responsible for collecting those delinquent CED taxes and submitting any reports to the education commissioner and comptroller. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 335 requires a person purchasing property at a tax foreclosure sale to show the officer conducting the sale that the person owes no delinquent property taxes to that county or the school districts or cities in that county. The person requests in writing a statement of no taxes owed for those taxing units from the county tax assessor-collector. The sworn request identifies property the person owns or formerly owned in the county. The county tax assessor-collector issues a statement showing either no delinquent taxes for the taxing units or shows the amounts owed each unit. The collector may charge a fee not to exceed $10 for each statement requested. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 1125 extends the redemption period for a mineral interest sold for unpaid taxes at a tax sale. The owner of a mineral interest may redeem from the purchaser (other that a taxing unit) the mineral interest on or before the second anniversary of the date that the purchaser’s deed was recorded. Currently, such an owner has six months to redeem the mineral interest. H.B. 1125 treats a mineral interest the same as a residence homestead or qualified agricultural land. (Effective January 1, 2004)
H.J.R. 51 has Texas voters deciding on September 13, 2003, to amend the Texas Constitution to allow the redemption period for a mineral interest to be two years, for a purchaser’s deed filed for record on or after January 1, 2004.
H.B. 2148 provides that placing a restriction or conditional payment for delinquent taxes to an amount less than the delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest is void. (Effective June 20, 2003)
VETOED H.B. 3232 provides that a city may request that the tax collector for the city include on a property tax bill for a property a separate item for expenses imposed by the city, including accrued interest, for remedying substandard conditions on the property. If the city tax collector is not an officer or employee of the city, the city shall negotiate a reasonable fee with the collector for this service. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 3419 corrects and clarifies Tax Code sections on the procedures for seizing and selling property for delinquent taxes and for distributing the proceeds. It sets out how to use an auctioneer and on-line bidding and sale for personal property seizures in counties with a population of three million or more. It clarifies what is abandoned property. It details the notice requirements for seizure of real property by a city or county. (Effective June 18, 2003)
H.B. 3504 addresses the deferral or abatement of taxes on a residence homestead by an elderly or disabled person. It adds that the residence homestead may not be sold at a sale to foreclose the tax lien until the 181st day after the date the individual no longer owns and occupies the property as a residence homestead. It also outlines how a person who has a pending sale to foreclose on the homestead’s tax lien may abate that sale. It also extends the tax deferral to the surviving spouse of an individual who deferred the taxes on the homestead. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 3540 changes the refund of an overpayment or erroneous payment by a tax collector for a consolidated tax collection office. For a consolidated collection office, the governing body of the taxing unit that employs the collector determines that the payment was erroneous or excessive and approves the refund if the amount of the refund exceeds $2,500. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 173 provides for deferred payment of property taxes by certain persons in the United States armed forces during a war or national emergency. The person has 60 days to pay taxes without penalty and interest from the earliest date of the following four: (1) discharge from active military service, (2) return to the state for more than 10 days, (3) return to non-active duty status in the reserves, or (4) the war or national emergency ends. (Effective May 28, 2003)
S.B. 480 eliminates the agricultural rollback tax penalty when the change of use results from the transfer of land from the state, a political subdivision of the state, or a nonprofit corporation created by a city with more than one million population to an individual or business, based on certain conditions of economic development. The state comptroller shall determine if the conditions have been met. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 521 addresses various areas dealing with manufactured homes. It addresses tax liens and when liens attach to both the home and the land on which the home occupies. The owner of a manufactured home may receive a statement of ownership and location issued by the manufactured housing division of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). The owner provides a copy of this statement to the appraisal district when the owner applies for homestead exemptions. The appraisal district lists the home and land together if the statement reflects that the owner has elected to treat the home as real property and has filed the TDHCA statement with the real property records at the county. Otherwise, the appraisal district lists the manufactured home separately from the land. The tax lien attaches to both the home and land if the statement is filed. The unpaid taxes reported by the chief appraiser for a permit to move the manufactured home includes the taxes due for the current year. If the current year taxes are not levied, an estimated amount of taxes is due. Tax Code changes apply with the 2004 tax year and forward. (Effective June 1, 2003)
S.B. 725 provides for the payment of taxes when a property was erroneously omitted from the tax rolls in preceding tax years. The delinquency date for such omitted property is postponed to February 1 of the first year that will provide at least 180 days after mailing the bill to pay the taxes. It also changes the provisions for waiving penalty and interest on a delinquent tax bill. A taxing unit’s governing body shall waive penalties and may waive interest on a delinquent tax bill if an act or omission of the taxing unit or its agent caused or resulted in the delinquency if the taxpayer paid no later than the 21st day after the date the taxpayer knows or should know of the delinquency (return to former law). It repeals the third anniversary date for paying the delinquent tax. (Effective September 1, 2003)
VETOED S.B. 1659 changes the appointment of tax agent form to include the delivery of tax refunds. It clarifies that when a homeowner 65 or older subsequently establishes a different residence during the same tax year, the homeowner may not qualify the subsequent residence homestead before January 1 of the following tax year. S.B. 1659 provides that the January 1 owner of a property receives any property tax refund, unless that person specifies otherwise. It prohibits a taxing unit from requiring a property owner (or owner’s agent) to provide a tax receipt as evidence that a tax has been paid. It also changes the deadline for filing late homestead exemption applications (the same as found in H.B. 2147 discussed earlier in Exemptions). (Effective September 1, 2003; part in January 1, 2004)
H.B. 2844 exempts a person who provides property tax consulting service only in connection with farms, ranches, or single-family residences from being registered as a property tax consultant. Current law exempts only those dealing with single-family residences. The person must hold an active real estate broker license or sales person license, or be a licensed or certified real estate appraiser. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 276 continues the Board of Tax Professional Examiners. The bill changes the current composition of the board to be only five members, with four from the tax profession and one from the general public. It requires an interagency contract with the comptroller’s office to provide administrative support to BTPE. The comptroller and BTPE will report to the lieutenant governor and speaker of the house the feasibility of relocating the BTPE office to the comptroller’s office by December 1, 2004.
BTPE will develop negotiated rulemaking procedures and alternative dispute resolution for internal and external disputes; implement technology that ensures the public easily finds information on the Internet; and establish public participation and compliant procedures. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 2032 sets out additional exceptions to the confidentiality of e-mail addresses. The e-mail address may be disclosed if it is provided by a person who has a contractual arrangement with the governing body; by a vendor who seeks a contract with the governmental body; in a response to a request for bids or proposals; or on a letterhead, coversheet, printed document, or other document made available to the public. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 2819 expands the confidentiality of home address information held by an appraisal district to also include a victim of family violence, if the actor of the violence is convicted of a felony or a Class A misdemeanor. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 84 defines the term “promptly” when a public information officer must produce public information. Promptly means “as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.” (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 653 clarifies the method for resolving a complaint of overcharging for public information. It states that, with respect to requests for 50 or fewer pages of a paper record, the cost of copying shall be the charge for each page of the paper record and may not include costs of materials, labor, or overhead. It provides that a request for public information is not considered to be withdrawn if the requestor has filed a timely complaint with the Texas Building and Procurement Commission alleging that the requestor has been overcharged. It outlines the timeline to be followed by a governmental body in responding to written questions from the Texas Building and Procurement Commission. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 919 extends timeliness of an open records action by mail to include common or contract carriers. Current law only lists mail or interagency mail. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 1388 adds to information on public records that are excepted from public disclosure. Certain addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and personal information may not be disclosed for certain individuals. The list is expanded to include a current or former employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 1559 changes the Property Code by adding a section on confidential information in real property records. The change applies to a deed, mortgage, or deed of trust executed on or after January 1, 2004. A notice on an instrument transferring an interest in property shall state in 12-point type that a person may strike from the public records his or her social security number or driver’s license number. (Effective September 1, 2003)
H.B. 2073 sets out the election procedures for a hospital district to increase its maximum tax rate to not exceed $.75 per $100. (Effective June 18, 2003)
H.B. 2898 sets out the type of newspapers required for publication of notices in certain counties. It sets out what is required for a legal newspaper in a county with a population of at least 30,000 and not more than 36,000 that borders the Red River. The differences from newspapers in other counties is that the newspaper must devote at least 20 percent of its column lineage to general interest items (rather than 25 percent) and be entered as second-class postal matter or have a mailed or delivered circulation of at least 51 percent of the residences in the county where published. (Effective June 20, 2003)
H.B. 3075 provides for local agreements to allow certain development corporations and taxing units to invest in and receive tax revenues from certain regional economic development projects. (Effective June 20, 2003)
H.B. 3507 is an omnibus bill that makes nonsubstantive changes to various codes and laws for correcting and cleaning up phrases and statute cites. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 200 authorizes certain hospital district to pledge tax revenues to the payment of tax and revenue bonds if approved by voters. (Effective May 15, 2003)
S.B. 353 repeals Tax Code Section 311.013, that requires cities with a population of more than 230,000 that border Mexico to pay into a tax increment fund relative to a tax increment financing zone. (Effective April 24, 2003)
S.B. 671 changes the school property value study performed by the Comptroller’s Property Tax Division. A detailed article about these changes will be in an upcoming issue of STATEMENT. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 850 amends the Local Government Code and the Education Code to prohibit cities, counties, and school districts from contracting with persons who are indebted to those units, including delinquent property taxes. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 853 requires a disclosure by a person who solicits (by mail or phone) a homeowner to pay a fee for the service of applying for a property tax refund. Before accepting money or signing a contract, the person must disclose to the homeowner the name of the appraisal district or taxing unit that owes the homeowner a refund. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 948 grants specific authority to the county commissioners court to grant local option exemptions, to elect to tax property otherwise exempt, and to contract with attorneys to collect delinquent taxes for the county hospital district. The law excludes the hospital district board from these duties. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.B. 1021 converts all rural fire prevention districts to emergency service districts. (Effective September 1, 2003)
S.J.R. 45 would have Texas voters decide on September 13, 2003, whether to repeal the authority of the legislature to create rural fire prevention districts, under Section 48-d, Article III, Texas Constitution.
S.B. 1565 allows a city to create a defense adjustment management authority, including the levy of a property tax. (Effective June 20, 2003)
S.B. 1771 addresses the coordination of economic development efforts and establishes the Texas Enterprise Fund. (Effective September 1, 2003)