Attorney General Opinions

September 19, 2012

Legislative News

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TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties.

GA-0960: Refund of cash bail bonds under article 17.02, Code of Criminal Procedure (RQ-1045-GASummary: Due to the recent legislative amendment to article 17.02 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a county is no longer entitled to deduct a fee for accounting and administrative expense from the refund of a cash bail bond. Attorney General Opinions JC-0163 and GA-0436 are superseded due to legislative enactment.

GA-0962: Whether section 38.007 of the Texas Education Code, section 109.33 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, and the home-rule provision of the Texas Constitution authorize a home-rule municipality with a population of less than 900,000 to enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages within 1,000 feet of a public school (RQ-1057-GASummary: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code does not authorize a home-rule municipality to enact an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages by a dealer whose place of business is within 1,000 feet of a public school unless the municipality has received a petition from a school board of a district principally located in a municipality with a population of 900,000 or more.

GA-0963: Whether an application by a local organizing committee, endorsing municipality, or endorsing county to a site selection organization is a prerequisite to the expenditure of funds from the Major Events Trust Fund pursuant to section 5A, article 5190.14, Revised Civil Statutes (RQ-1043-GASummary: Section 5A, article 5190.14 of the Texas Revised Civil Statutes requires that a local organizing committee, an endorsing municipality, or an endorsing county submit an application to a site selection organization in order to initiate the process that governs the distribution of funds for an "event" from the Major Events Trust Fund (the "METF"). Unless an application for an event as defined in the statute is submitted to a site selection organization, that event is ineligible for METF funding. Whether such an application was actually submitted in this case is a matter of factual dispute that cannot be resolved through the opinion process.

GA-0965: Transfer of a tax lien pursuant to section 32.06 of the Tax Code, and the items that may be secured by the transferred lien (RQ-1051-GASummary: The tax assessor-collector, acting alone, must carry out the statutorily required duties related to a transfer of a tax lien under section 32.06 of the Tax Code. Neither the tax assessor-collector nor the governing body of the taxing unit is empowered to deny the transfer of a tax lien if the conditions of section 32.06 of the Tax Code are otherwise met. A court could conclude that closing costs and lien recordation fees charged by a property tax lien transferee under section 32.06 of the Tax Code are secured by the transferred tax lien.

GA-0966: Authority to operate a golf cart under section 551.403 of the Transportation Code (RQ-1052-GASummary: A person is operating a golf cart legally for purposes of section 551.403 of the Texas Transportation Code if a person is operating a golf cart within the parameters of subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of that section. Subsection 551.403(a)(3) of the Transportation Code allows operation of a golf cart on a public highway only if, among other requirements, the golf cart is operated not more than two miles from the location where the golf cart is usually parked and is operated only for the purpose of transportation to or from a golf course.

GA-0967: Whether an individual may be prosecuted for an alleged assaultive offense that occurred in 1998 when the person was thirteen years of age, and in which the victim died in 2011 (RQ-1055-GASummary: A county or district attorney's determination regarding the initiation of further proceedings falls within the scope of prosecutorial discretion.

GA-0968: Authority of the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority to use the proceeds of a sales and use tax for a streetcar project in light of certain representations that were made preceding an election to create an advanced transportation district (RQ-1048-GASummary: Determining the extent to which representations and statements made prior to an election creating an advanced transportation district may have become a part of the contract with the voters and construing the terms of such representations and statements involve questions of fact and contract construction not amenable to the opinion process. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds of an advanced transportation district sales and use tax must be used as the local share of a state or federal grant according to law for advanced transportation or mobility enhancement purposes in the territory of the district. Whether using such proceeds for a streetcar project would comport with this requirement would involve questions of fact that cannot be determined in an attorney general opinion.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-1077-GA: The Honorable Joseph C. Pickett, Chairman, Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs, Texas House of Representatives, Whether a home rule city may change the terms of its officers from three to four years without first adopting a charter amendment.

RQ-1076-GA: The Honorable William A. Callegari, P.E., Chairman, Committee on Government, Efficiency and Reform, Texas House of Representatives, Whether a junior college district is considered to be a "school district" for purposes of section 395.022, Local Government Code, which relates to the payment of impact fees to a political subdivision.

RQ-1079-GA: The Honorable Tom Maness, Jefferson County Criminal District Attorney, Authority of a federal senior status judge to conduct a marriage ceremony in Texas.

RQ-1080-GA: The Honorable Donald W. Allee, Kendall County Attorney, Whether a county may impose a sales tax on internet services provided to residents of a different county.

RQ-1081-GA: The Honorable Ruth Jones McClendon, Chair, Committee on Rules and Resolutions, Texas House of Representatives, Whether a county may provide solid waste disposal service to a portion of the county that is within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality within that county.

RQ-1082-GA: The Honorable Patricia R. Lykos, Harris County District Attorney, Proper disposition of blood seized during the investigation of an intoxication-related offense.