First Special Session – City-Related Bills Filed

Property Tax

1H.B. 390 (White) – Appraisal Cap: would: (1) reduce the property tax appraisal cap on residence homesteads from ten to five percent, and apply the appraisal cap to all real property; and (2) require the appraisal district to apply a two percent appraisal cap on real property instead of a five percent appraisal cap if the owner of the property discloses to the office the price the owner paid to purchase the property. (See 1H.J.R. 55, below.)

1H.B. 393 (Koop) – Tax Rate Calculation: would: (1) provide that, for a city that makes additional city police and fire fighter retirement systems expenditures in a given year after 2018, the effective maintenance and operations rate is adjusted upwards to account for the additional payments into the retirement system; (2) require the city to include a notice of the increase in its effective maintenance and operations tax rate, including a brief description and the amount of the additional city police and fire fighter retirement systems expenditures in the required tax rate notices; and (3) provide that (1) and (2) only take effect if S.B. 1 or similar legislation lowering the rollback rate and requiring an automatic tax ratification election if the rollback rate is exceeded become law following the current special legislative session.

1H.J.R. 55 (White) – Appraisal Cap: would amend the Texas Constitution to: (1) reduce the property tax appraisal cap on homesteads from ten to five percent and apply the new appraisal cap to all real property; and (2) authorize the legislature to provide for a percentage of less than 105 percent but not less than 102 percent of the appraised value of the real property for the preceding tax year to be used in calculating the maximum appraised value of real property for property tax purposes if the owner of the real property discloses to the appraisal entity the price the owner paid to purchase the real property.

1S.B. 117 (Kolkhorst) – Appraisal Cap: would provide that an appraisal office may increase the appraised value of a parcel of commercial or industrial real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the market value of the property for the most recent tax year that the market value was determined by the appraisal office; or (2) the sum of: (a) 20 percent of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; (b) the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; and (c) the market value of all new improvements to the property. (Companion bill is 1H.B. 5 by D. Bonnen.) (See 1H.J.R. 14, below.)

1S.B. 118 (Kolkhorst) – Appraisal Cap: would reduce the property tax appraisal cap on residence homesteads from ten to five percent. (Companion bill is 1H.B. 71 by Bohac.) (See 1S.J.R. 13, below.)

1S.J.R. 13 (Kolkhorst) – Appraisal Cap: would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature to reduce the property tax appraisal cap on residence homesteads from ten to five percent. (See 1S.B. 118, above.)  

1S.J.R. 14 (Kolkhorst) – Appraisal Cap: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature by general law to limit the maximum appraised value of a parcel of commercial or industrial real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the most recent market value of the property as determined by the appraisal entity; or (2) 120 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year. (See 1S.B. 117, above.)

 

Other Finance and Administration

1H.B. 16 (S. Davis) – Ethics: would, among other things: (1) prohibit an officer or employee of a political subdivision from: (a) spending or authorizing the spending of public funds to make a political contribution or expenditure; and (b) employing a person to use public funds to make an unlawful political contribution or expenditure; (2) make a violation of the prohibitions in (1) a Class A misdemeanor offense; and (3) change the content requirements of a personal financial statement that must be filed by certain city officers and candidates in cities with a population of 100,000 or more in regard to disclosures about stocks in non-publicly traded and publicly traded corporations.

1H.B. 17 (S. Davis) – Conflicts Disclosure: would amend the law relating to the disclosure by vendors of gifts to and relationships with certain local government officers (Local Government Code Chapter 176) to:

  1. define “entertainment” to include transportation to, lodging for, and attendance at a function, event or performance that: (a) a local government officer accepts as a guest of a vendor; and (b) is not required to be reported by a vendor under other law;
  2. define “gift” to mean a benefit, including entertainment, offered by a vendor and accepted by a local government officer, but excluding: (a) a benefit offered based on kinship or a personal, professional, or business relationship independent of the official status of the local government officer; (b) food or beverages accepted as a guest of a vendor; or (c) a political contribution;
  3. define “local government officer” to mean: (a) a member of the governing body of a local governmental entity; or (b) a director, superintendent, administrator, president, or other executive officer of a local governmental entity who exercises discretion in the planning, recommending, selecting, or contracting of a vendor;
  4. define “vendor” to mean a person or agent of the person who enters or seeks to enter into a contract with a local governmental entity for the provision of goods or services;
  5. require a vendor, not later than the 15th day of the first month of each calendar quarter, to submit a completed disclosure form if the vendor has a contract or is seeking a contract with a local governmental entity and has given one or more gifts during the preceding calendar quarter with an aggregate value of more than $100 to a local government officer of the entity or a family member of the local government officer;
  6. except from (5) a gift given by a vendor directly as part of the vendor’s sponsorship of or contribution to an event that benefits certain nonprofit organizations or political committees;
  7. provide that a vendor commits a Class C misdemeanor for knowingly failing to submit the disclosure as described in (5);
  8. authorize the Texas Ethics Commission to prepare written advisory opinions and adopt rules regarding the requirements described in (1)-(7);
  9. provide that a local government officer must file a conflicts disclosure statement with respect to a vendor if the vendor enters into a contract with the local governmental entity and: (a) the vendor and officer (or officer’s family member) have certain employment or business relationships; or (b) the vendor has a family relationship with the local government officer; and
  10. provide that a vendor must file a completed conflict of interest questionnaire if the vendor has a business relationship with a local governmental entity and: (a) the vendor and a local government officer (or officer’s family member) have certain employment of business relationships; or (b) the vendor has a family relationship with a local government officer.

1H.B. 381 (Shaheen) – Local Government Bathrooms: would: (1) provide that each multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, and changing facility of a political subdivision or an open-enrollment charter school must be designated for and used only by persons of the same “sex” (defined as the physical condition of being male or female); (2) exempt from (1) a private entity that leases or contracts to use a building owned or leased by a political subdivision or open-enrollment charter school, and prohibit a political subdivision or open-enrollment charter school from requiring the private entity to adopt, or prohibiting the private entity from adopting, a policy on the designation or use of restrooms, showers, or changing facilities; (3) prohibit a political subdivision or open-enrollment charter school from adopting or enforcing an order, ordinance, policy, or other measure that: (a) relates to the designation or use of a multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, or changing facility; or (b) requires a private entity to adopt, or prohibits the entity from adopting, a policy on the designation or use of the entity’s restrooms, showers, or changing facilities; (4) provide that (1)-(3) does not preclude an ordinance, order, policy, or other measure regarding the use of a multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, or changing facility by a person not of the designated sex to: (a) assist a person with a disability, a child under eight years of age, or an elderly person; (b) render medical or other emergency assistance; or (c) maintain a facility when not in use; and (5) waive governmental immunity and authorize enforcement of (1)-(4) through an action for mandamus or injunctive relief by the attorney general or, in some circumstances, a parent/legal guardian of a child.

 

Community and Economic Development

1H.B. 380 (Dukes) – Industrialized Housing and Buildings: would expand the manufacture, construction, and use of modular housing by amending the industrialized housing and building regulations to increase from four stories to 14 stories or from 60 feet in height to 168 feet in height the maximum height of a residential structure and a commercial structure considered to be industrialized housing or an industrialized building, respectively.

1S.B. 116 (Kolkhorst) – Economic Development Act: would repeal the Texas Economic Development Act in Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code.

 

Public Safety

1H.B. 376 (Isaac) – Drones: would provide that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution for certain offenses involving damage or destruction of property if the actor: (1) was on property owned or legally occupied by the actor; (2) legally possessed a firearm; (3) used that firearm to disable, damage, or destroy an unmanned aircraft that was unlawfully over the property; and (4) was not prohibited from discharging the firearm under law, local regulation, or a dedicatory instrument governing use of the property.

1H.B. 378 (Isaac) – Drones: would repeal certain defenses to prosecution related to the illegal use of unmanned aircraft to capture images and the possession, disclosure, display, distribution or use of such images.

1H.B. 384 (D. Bonnen) – Utility Vehicles: would: (1) authorize the operation of a utility vehicle in certain counties; and (2) remove utility vehicles from the types of vehicles that are subject to statutory provisions relating to the operation of certain off-highway vehicles adopted during regular session (House Bill 1956).

1H.B. 385 (Villalba) – Vehicle Booting: would: (1) define the term “boot” to mean a device that, when installed and located on any part of a parked vehicle, is designed to immobilize the vehicle and prevent its movement or lawful operation; (2) require local booting regulations to establish a maximum amount that may be charged for a boot removal fee and to provide for the revocation of the license, permit, or other authorization of a booting company for certain violations; (3) authorize a boot operator to install a boot on an unauthorized vehicle in a parking facility only if the vehicle has been parked for 30 minutes or longer; and (4) establish when a booting company must waive a boot fee or is prohibited from charging such a fee.  

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