AG Opinions and Requests

September 07, 2018

Legislative News

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

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0210 Whether the contractual assessments imposed by local governments under the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act in chapter 399 of the Local Government Code are “special assessments by the local government and treated in a similar manner as the real estate taxes on the property” (RQ-0211-KP)
Summary: A court would likely find that a contractual assessment imposed under a program authorized by chapter 399 of the Local Government Code is a special assessment by the local government and, with respect to lien priority status, enforcement, and delinquencies including the recovery of costs and expenses, is treated in a manner similar to the real property taxes on the property.

KP-0212 Whether sections 46.02 and 46.03 of the Penal Code apply to presiding election judges licensed to carry a handgun under chapter 411 of the Government Code (RQ-0214-KP) Summary: Section 46.03 of the Penal Code, which creates an offense for carrying firearms at multiple locations including a polling place, does not apply to presiding election judges licensed under chapter 411 of the Government Code when performing their duties under section 32.075(a) of the Election Code.
 
Subsections 46.035(a-l), (a-2), and (a-3) of the Penal Code prohibit a presiding election judge from openly carrying a handgun on any institution of higher education campus and from carrying a concealed handgun in a location on campus where the institution prohibits carrying a handgun by rule.
 
Sections 30.06 and 30.07 of the Penal Code could prohibit a presiding election judge from carrying a handgun to a polling location on private property if proper notice was given under those sections.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0241-KP: The Honorable Charles Schwertner, Chair, Committee on Health and Human Services
Texas State Senate, Whether a groundwater conservation district may define "agricultural crop" as "food or fiber commodities grown for resale of commercial purposes that provide food, clothing, or animal feed" and utilize that definition to determine the applicable fee rate for "irrigating agricultural crops."

RQ-0242-KP: The Honorable Charles Schwertner, Chair, Committee on Health and Human Services
Texas State Senate, Whether a municipality is authorized to adopt a residential homestead property tax exemption that provides for a minimum exemption greater than $5,000, and, if not, whether an appraisal district may disregard or modify the minimum exemption.

RQ-0243-KP: The Honorable Dana Norris Young, Cherokee County Attorney, Application of Government Code section 573.062, the nepotism continuous-employment exception, to a tax assessor/collector's sister-in-law.

RQ-0244-KP: The Honorable Matthew A. Mills, Hood County Attorney, Authority of a county under article III, section 52(a) of the Texas Constitution, to refund penalties and interest paid by taxpayers to a private collection firm in certain circumstances.

RQ-0245-KP: The Honorable Natalie C. Koehler, Bosque County Attorney, Whether a commissioners court has a duty to maintain public roads.

RQ-0246-KP: The Honorable Donna Campbell, M.D., Chair, Committee on Veterans Affairs and Border Security, Texas State Senate, Whether a municipality with authority to adopt and enforce land use regulations near a military base pursuant to section 43.0117 of the Local Government Code may impose fees and fines under that authority, and whether the City of San Antonio's proposed annexation ballot language meets the requirements of state law.

RQ-0247-KP: The Honorable Rolando B. Pablos, Texas Secretary of State, Whether the Secretary of State is the "returning officer" under Article III, section 13(a) of the Texas Constitution, and if not, which officer serves that role.