Bills of Interest

TAC legislative staff has highlight some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

February 01, 2019

Legislative News

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TAC legislative staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

HB 2 by Burrows – Modifies multiple chapters of the Tax Code: creates the Property Tax Administration Advisory Board to advise the Comptroller; adds a section on training arbitrators; requires the Comptroller to post electronic forms, submitted by taxing entities, containing property tax rates and other tax data; creates special appraisal review board panels in certain districts; renames the effective tax rate as the “No-new-revenue” tax rate; lowers the rollback rate from 8 percent to 2.5 percent for counties other than small taxing units; modifies the tax bill and hearing notices; requires a mandatory election to exceed the rollback rate; mandates every county to maintain a website on which the tax assessor-collector will post property tax information for every taxing entity in the county; mandates the appraisal district to maintain an online database of property tax data that is searchable by property address and owner; and makes numerous other changes to the Tax Code. See also SB 2 by Bettencourt.

HB 261 by Frank – Expands capital murder to include the murder of an individual under 15 years old. Currently, the age requirement is under 10 years old.

HB 648 by Krause – Allows a county to adopt a sales tax, in addition to any sales tax already adopted by the county, to replace the property tax. Additionally, the bill allows for the county to increase, decrease or abolish the sales tax rate authorized by this bill.

HB 709 by Wray – Prohibits high-speed rail from using private activity bonds to finance the construction of facilities and the operation of services.

HB 758 by Wu – Requires a court to conduct an evidentiary hearing and make specific determinations in order to exclude the public from certain juvenile proceedings. See also SB 529 by Birdwell.

HB 766 by Huberty - Requires a college to exempt a student from paying tuition if the student was permanently disabled in the line of duty as a fire fighter. 

HB 791 by Huberty – Defines qualified volunteer fire departments that are exempt from certain motor fuel taxes.

HB 892 by Kuempel – Authorizes all commissioners courts to regulate the operation of game rooms.

HB 887 by Thompson, Senfronia – Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt detailed policies regarding de-escalation and proportionate response. Requires the policies to meet certain requirements. Amends provisions regarding when a peace officer is justified in using certain force.

HB 915 by Shaheen – Authorizes a commissioners court to allow the sale of fireworks for a ten day period that includes the Diwali holiday.

HB 930 by Anchia – Revises statutory justifications for use of force or deadly force in defense of a person.

HB 946 by Metcalf – Limits the increase in appraised value for residential homesteads from 10 percent to 5 percent for ad valorem taxation. See also HB 383 by Bohac.

HB 971 by Clardy – Allows a law enforcement officer who has served in the military to receive credit toward meeting any training hours required for an intermediate, advanced, or master proficiency certificate based on that military service.

HB 1045 by Neave – Mandates state collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to develop and maintain a system for tracking the number of suicides of women veterans and determining the number of those women veterans who received services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Includes a justice of the peace who is acting as a coroner in the list of individuals who shall provide information on the suicide deaths of women veterans to the program.

HB 1102 by Bernal – Caps the amount of taxes a school district can impose on a residence homestead if an individual has lived in their residence for 15 consecutive years and the amount of school taxes imposed has increased 120 percent since the first year they owned their residence. See also SB 484 by Menéndez.

HB 1162 by Johnson, Jarvis – Requires a court order appointing the Department of Family and Protective Services as a child's managing conservator in certain Child Protective Services Cases to provide for the continuation of the appointment of an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem for the child for as long as the child remains in the custody of the department.

HB 1208 by Rodriguez – Pertains to the storage of firearms surrendered by a person subject to certain protective orders. The commissioners court is required to designate a secure location to store the surrendered firearms.

SB 278 by Menéndez – Prohibits making, or encouraging or inducing another to make, silent or abusive calls to 9-1-1 Service or a Public Safety Answering Point. "Public safety answering point" means a continuously operated communications facility that is assigned the responsibility to receive 9-1-1 calls and, as appropriate, to dispatch public safety services or to extend, transfer, or relay 9-1-1 calls to appropriate public safety agencies.

SB 346 by Zaffirini – Consolidates and reallocates the state’s criminal court costs. Certain court costs would be increased and certain court costs would be reduced. This is an omnibus bill that has many components.

SB 381 by Hall – Reduces the fine or penalty in certain circumstances pertaining to the prosecution and punishment for the offense of trespass by certain persons carrying handguns. Provides a defense to prosecution for handgun license holders in certain circumstances.

SB 395 by Zaffirini – Amends notice requirements and filing requirements in court proceedings involving persons with mental illness. Allows for notice requirements to be given by personal delivery of a copy of the notice or document by a constable or sheriff of a county.

SB 453 by Creighton – Mandates reappraisal for property located partly or entirely inside a declared disaster area that has sustained five percent or greater damage. The chief appraiser shall complete the reappraisal not later than 45 days after the governor declares the area to be a disaster. A property owner may refuse appraisal. See also HB 768 by Davis, Sarah; SB 202 by Huffman.

SB 462 by Campbell – Provides specific requirements for the contents of a ballot for certain bonds (debt obligations) issued by a political subdivision.

SB 465 by Campbell – Charges the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to create a publicly accessible Political Subdivision Public Information Database that contains information regarding all political subdivisions authorized to impose an ad valorem tax, impose a sales and use tax, impose an assessment or charge a fee. Specifies what the database must include. Includes a non-compliance provision.