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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Mar 16

TML Training Events and Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Posted to Press Release by Jen Stamps

TML is monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus – including tracking travel restrictions, statewide developments, and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  We want to assure all city officials that your safety and security are our top priorities.

In light of increased city travel restrictions and the CDC’s recommendation to cancel all events of 50 or more, we are cancelling or postponing most TML training events taking place between now and May 15, including the Emotional Intelligence Workshop,  Leadership Academy, and Small Town Conference.   City officials registered for these events will be notified and registration fees will be fully refunded.  If feasible, we’ll reschedule these events later in the year.

We are considering offering the TML Budget and Tax Rate Workshop on April 23 (Austin) as a webinar instead of in-person training.  Registrants will be notified when details are worked out. 

At this time, we’re still planning to proceed with TML training events held after May 15.  If the situation changes due to a regional quarantine or state emergency declaration, TML will reschedule or cancel other upcoming training events and notify all registrants.

TML Event Cancellation Policy

Registrants whose events take place between now and May 15, or whose travel or other plans are impacted by the coronavirus may request a full refund.

Attendees should contact their hotels directly to cancel reservations, and are responsible for any cancellation or change fees.

Jun 02

June 2, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #55

Posted to TML Coronavirus Update by TML Staff

Urgent Updates

 

Some state officials have said that TML is “advocating” for cities to increase their voter-approval tax rates from 3.5 percent to 8 percent. Is this true?

 

Unequivocally not. The League has reported on the plain language of a new statutory provision enacted by S.B. 2, which gives city councils the discretion to direct their designated officer or employee to calculate the voter-approval tax rate at eight percent if the city is located in an area declared a disaster area by the governor or president. At this point, the League is unaware of any legal guidance from the state’s attorney general, or elsewhere, that indicates this disaster calculation provision has not been triggered. If such guidance is released, we will pass that information along to our membership as quickly as possible.

 

Local leaders are looking for guidance on the budget and tax rate adoption process, as city budgeting kicks into high gear this summer. To assist, we have submitted to our membership, in response to numerous inquiries, the most reasonable reading of the statute. We have not, however, advocated for cities to take any particular action with regard to their tax rate, and certainly haven’t encouraged cities to increase their voter-approval tax rates to eight percent, or by any amount. In fact, in the only guidance we have released on the disaster calculation provision back on March 19, we attempted to make this point clear:

 

“To be clear, the League takes no position on whether a city should or should not use the higher voter-approval rate calculation allowable in a disaster. Each city is different and will need to make that decision based upon any number of factors, such as the impact of the COVID-19 virus on other sources of local revenue, like sales taxes, the amount of city expenditures made in response to the emergency, as well as the ability and willingness of local taxpayers to potentially pay a higher tax rate.”

 

In recent weeks, some cities have considered resolutions to calculate the voter-approval tax rate at eight percent. Some city councils have adopted these resolutions, others have rejected them. The League supports the ability of all city leaders to decide on tax rates for their communities, whatever that decision might be.

 

Further Updates

 

Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?

 

TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.