COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
H.B. 773 – Tax Abatement: extends the authority of cities to enter into new tax abatement agreements until September 1, 2019. (Note: The current statutory authority was due to expire on September 1, 2009.)
H.B. 875 – Outdoor Advertising: provides that a district attorney, a county attorney, or a municipal attorney may recover reasonable attorney's fees incurred in a civil action against a person who erects outdoor advertising in violation of state law.
H.B. 1029 – Public Improvement Districts: provides that a public improvement district project may include the development, rehabilitation, or expansion of affordable housing.
H.B. 1633 – Graffiti: requires a court, including a juvenile court or a court granting community supervision, to require a defendant convicted of a graffiti offense to: (1) pay restitution or personally restore or replace the property; and, (2) if a juvenile, or if placed on community supervision, perform a certain number of hours of community service depending on the amount of pecuniary loss resulting from the commission of the offense.
H.B. 2685 – Eminent Domain: provides that not later than the seventh day before the date a governmental or private entity with eminent domain authority makes a final offer to a property owner to acquire real property, the entity must send by first-class mail (or otherwise provide) a landowner's bill of rights statement. In addition, the bill requires an entity with eminent domain authority to provide a copy of the landowner's bill of rights statement to a landowner before or at the same time as the entity first represents in any manner to the landowner that the entity possesses eminent domain authority.
H.B. 2927 – Cemeteries: requires a city that operates a cemetery to make necessary repairs, properly maintain the grounds, and restore gravesites after an interment in order to maintain the cemetery in a condition that does not endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public.
H.B. 3072 – 4A/4B Corporations: permits a 4A/4B economic development corporation to receive transfers of real property from a city provided there is an agreement and transfer instrument that requires the corporation to use the property in a manner that promotes a public purpose of the city and provided there is a reverter clause should the property cease to be used for such a purpose.
H.B. 3896 – Tax Abatement: extends the authority of cities to enter into new tax abatement agreements until September 1, 2019. (Note: The current statutory authority was due to expire on September 1, 2009.) The bill also permits a city to defer the commencement date of a tax abatement period.
H.J.R. 14 – Eminent Domain: proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution which, if approved by the voters on November 3, 2009, will provide that no person's property shall be taken, damaged, or destroyed for or applied to a “public use” without adequate compensation being made, unless by the consent of such person, and only if the taking, damage, or destruction is necessary for: (1) the ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property, notwithstanding an incidental use, by the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the public at large or an entity granted the power of eminent domain under law; or (2) the elimination of urban blight on a particular parcel of property. The resolution also provides that a “public use” does not include the taking of property for transfer to a private entity for the primary purpose of economic development or the enhancement of tax revenues, and that on or after January 1, 2010, the legislature may enact a law granting the power of eminent domain to an entity only with a two-thirds vote of all members elected to each house.
S.B. 576 – Tax Increment Finance: does the following: (1) adds roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure to the list of permissible costs related to tax increment project plans; (2) prohibits a tax increment plan from providing for payment to a neighborhood enterprise association; and (3) permits a city to grant tax exemptions within a tax increment zone in lieu of paying any increment into the increment fund.
S.B. 820 – Building Codes: this bill applies only to a city with a population of more than 100,000. It provides that on or before the 21st day before the date the governing body takes action to consider, review, and recommend the adoption of or amendment to a national model code governing the construction, renovation, use, or maintenance of buildings and building systems, the governing body: (1) shall publish notice of the proposed action conspicuously on the city's Internet Web site; (2) shall make a reasonable effort to encourage public comment from persons affected by the proposed adoption or amendment; and (3) on the written request of five or more persons, shall hold a public hearing open to public comment on the proposed adoption or amendment on or before the 14th day before the date the governing body adopts the ordinance. The bill also provides that if the governing body has established an advisory board or substantially similar entity for the purpose of obtaining public comment on the proposed adoption of or amendment to a national model code, the requirements described above do not apply. In addition, the bill provides that the governing body of a city with a population of more than 100,000 that adopts an ordinance or national model code provision that is intended to govern the construction, renovation, use, or maintenance of buildings and building systems in the city shall delay implementing and enforcing the ordinance for at least 30 days after final adoption, unless a delay in implementing or enforcing the ordinance would cause imminent harm to the health or safety of the public.
S.B. 1458 – Tax Abatement: this bill is substantially the same as H.B. 3896, above.
S.B. 1952 – Educational Facilities: provides that a home rule city with a population of 25,000 or more that has an institution of higher education located within its boundaries or has entered into an agreement with an institution of higher education relating to the provision of educational services within the city by the institution of higher education may issue public securities, including certificates of obligation, to acquire, construct, or improve land, buildings, or other permanent improvements for use by the institution of higher education.
S.B. 2052 – 4A/4B Corporations: adds railport, sea port, and inland port facilities to the list of authorized 4A and 4B sales tax corporation projects.