Tax Assessor-Collectors Continue to Influence Policy Change

November 01, 2019

Legislative News

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At a recent Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Board meeting, the Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas (TACA) continued their involvement in influencing policy well after the legislative session adjourned. During the 86th Legislative Session, the DMV went through the Texas Sunset Commission's review process, the process in which the legislature takes a deep dive into an agency and identifies areas for improvement. In the months leading up to and during the legislative session, TACA was involved in shaping the outcome of the legislation. Senate Bill 604 by Sen. Buckingham (R-Lakeway) was passed with significant changes to the DMV's Registration and Titling System (RTS). The law now requires tax assessor-collectors and their staff to complete RTS training and specifies who has discretion over access to the RTS system.

DMV is now going through the rulemaking process in order to comply with many of the requirements included in SB 604. DMV received 148 total comments from tax assessor-collectors across the state, including a letter on behalf of TACA. Based on the feedback received, DMV made changes to portions of the proposed rules.

After the comment period ended, the DMV Board met on Oct. 3, 2019 to discuss the comments, hear what changes to the proposed rules had been made, and finally adopt the rules. Tax assessor-collectors and staff from Bell, Bexar, Dallas, Denton, Grayson, and Williamson counties were all present, with many providing testimony regarding the rules prior to the Board’s adoption.

Tax assessor-collectors and staff will now be required to complete their DMV issued training modules, pass with a score of 80, and their completion must be certified by DMV no later than Aug. 31, 2020. The number of required training hours is dependent upon the level of access within RTS. DMV will allow staff to take the module at any time after completion of the course if the individual would like a refresher. As modules are updated with new information, individuals will have 120 days to complete the new module training and have it certified by DMV.

Rules regarding suspension or denial of access to RTS and reporting of fraud by the tax assessor-collector are currently published and awaiting comment in the Oct. 18, 2019 Texas Register edition. A full list of rules DMV has published in the Texas Register can be found here.

For more information, please contact TAC Legislative Manager Katy Estrada at 800-456-5974).