HBA-MPM, RBT H.B. 1520 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1520 By: Junell Ways & Means 9/15/1999 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Small taxing units are incurring additional costs to maintain their tax rates and budgets. Prior to the 76th Legislature, notice and hearing requirements for an increase in the tax rate above the current effective rate called for two hearings and two quarter-page announcements in a newspaper. A simplified tax rate notice process for small taxing units was repealed beginning with tax year 1998. H.B. 1520 establishes an alternative system of notice for smaller taxing units. By either mailing notice to each owner of taxable property or publishing notice in the legal section of the newspaper, a smaller taxing unit will still give notice to the community. However, a larger portion of the funds generated by the increase will be applied to the needs of the taxing unit instead of the costs of notice. This bill affects only taxing units for which the total tax rate proposed is 50 cents or less per $100 of taxable value and would impose taxes of $500,000 or less when applied to the current total value. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 26, Tax Code, by adding Section 26.052, as follows: Sec. 26.052. SIMPLIFIED TAX RATE NOTICE FOR TAXING UNITS WITH LOW TAX LEVIES. (a) Provides that this section applies only to a taxing unit for which the total tax rate proposed for the current tax year is 50 cents or less per $100 of taxable value and would impose taxes of $500,000 or less when applied to the current total value for the taxing unit. (b) Provides that a taxing unit to which this section applies is exempt from the notice and publication requirements of Section 26.04(e) (Submission of Roll to Governing Body; Effective and Rollback Tax Rates) and is not subject to an injunction under Section 26.04(g) for failure to comply with those requirements. (c) Authorizes a taxing unit to which this section applies to provide public notice of its proposed tax rate, not later than the seventh day before the date on which the tax rate is adopted, by mailing a notice of the proposed tax rate to each owner of taxable property in the taxing unit or publishing notice of the proposed tax rate in the legal notices section of a newspaper having general circulation in the taxing unit. (d) Provides that a taxing unit that provides public notice of a proposed tax rate under Subsection (c) is exempt from Sections 26.05(d) (Tax Rate) and 26.06 (Notice, Hearing, and Vote on Tax Increase) and is not subject to an injunction under Section 26.05(e) for failure to comply with Section 26.05(d). Prohibits a taxing unit that provides public notice of a proposed tax rate under Subsection (c) from adopting a tax rate that exceeds the rate set out in the notice unless the taxing unit provides additional public notice under Subsection (c) of the higher rate or complies with Section 26.05(d) and 26.06, as applicable, in adopting the higher rate. (e) Provides that public notice provided under Subsection (c) must specify the tax rate that the governing body proposes to adopt, the date, time, and location of the meeting of the governing body of the taxing unit at which the governing body will consider adopting the proposed tax rate, and if the proposed tax rate for the taxing unit exceeds the unit's effective tax rate calculated as provided by Section 26.04, a statement substantially identical to the statement provided. SECTION 2. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.