June 14, 2019, Number 24
Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update 24
More to Come: “Post Session Updates”
The previous edition of the Legislative Update summarized the more than 300 city-related bills passed by the legislature. Many of those bills require cities to take some action, either now or in the future. Upcoming editions will highlight those bills, with more detailed explanations and – when appropriate – recommendations on implementation. Some of those are included elsewhere in this edition
City officials may be interested to see the final numbers and how they compare to previous sessions. The chart below shows that the number of city-related bills introduced and passed continues to rise
Around 25 percent of the legislature’s time is now focused on cities, and a good portion of that effort is directed at preemption.
Post Session Update:
Governor Continues Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
The governor, by proclamation, has executively continued the existence of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) until May 31, 2021. He did so by tying the TSBPE’s existence to continuing hurricane disaster relief.
The TSBPE “sunset bill,” S.B. 621, would have abolished the TBPE and transferred its functions to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). The bill would have directed TDLR to take over state licensing and regulation of plumbers and plumbing work, but the final version failed to pass.
The governor’s actions should mean business as usual for plumbers and cities, at least until the 2021 legislative session.
Post Session Update: Property Tax Reform
On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 2 into law. The bill makes various changes to the property tax rate setting and appraisal processes. Most notably, the bill lowers the property tax rollback rate from 8 percent to 3.5 percent (with some potential adjustments).
Senate Bill 2 does not go into effect until January 1, 2020, with a small handful of other relevant provisions not taking effect until 2021. Cities do not need to comply with the new tax rate setting procedures in S.B. 2 until they set their 2020 property tax rates over a year from now.
Post-Session Update: Contracts Disclosure
During the regular session, the legislature passed H.B. 1495 and S.B. 65. Governor Abbott is expected to sign both bills in the next few days. Among other things, the bills require a city’s lobbyist(s) to file a Form 1295 disclosure. A detailed contracts disclosure Q&A is available here.
2019 City Tax and Budget Deadlines Memo Now Available
Every year, TML posts a memo containing the annual calendar deadlines for the budget adoption and tax rate setting process. The 2019 document has recently been posted online and can be accessed here. (Note: Because the changes made to the property tax rate adoption process under S.B. 2 are not effective until January 1, 2020, the memo does not incorporate those provisions.)
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.