Every Legislature makes changes that affect county government; this session that included changes to property tax rate calculations and budget timelines. As counties consider their tax rates for the upcoming fiscal year, please be advised that the following legislation was passed during the regular session of the 87th Legislature, and most of it is now in effect.
Senate Bill 1357 by Sen. Hughes (R-Mineola). Adjusts statutorily required budget deadlines for counties with a population of 225,000 or less. The bill went into effect on June 14.
House Bill 2429 by Rep. Meyer (R-Dallas). Provides the required public notice for a taxing unit calculating the rate that exceeds the voter-approval rate but not the de minimis rate. This bill became effective on May 15.
HB 2723 by Rep. Meyer. Creates a centralized website for the property tax databases required under the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act. It allows for the information posted to each database to be updated regularly throughout August and September as local officials propose and adopt property tax rates. At this time the website is still in development by the Department of Information Resources. Effective as of June 3.
SB 1438 by Sen. Bettencourt (R-Houston). Creates an emergency revenue rate for local governments to use, if they choose to, when they qualify to adopt the rate under the requirements of the bill. Additionally, the bill specifically exempts droughts, epidemics and pandemics from the definition of disaster when considering use of the emergency revenue rate.
Certain provisions of the bill became effective June 16, and others will become effective Sept. 1. Sections of the bill that apply to ad valorem taxes imposed will be effective for a tax year that begins on or after Jan. 1, 2022.
Expanded summaries of these and other property tax-related legislation will be included in the Texas Association of Counties' Legislative Analysis Report coming later this summer. Additionally, updated truth-in-taxation forms have been issued by the Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and can be found here.
For more information about this article, please contact Katy Estrada.