Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1200
By: Brimer
Ways & Means


Prior to the 77th Legislature, the property tax system in Texas may have
placed a disproportionate burden on capital-intensive industries compared
to other entities.  This burden provided a significant financial
disincentive to businesses who desired to invest large amounts of money in
Texas, exacerbated by the fact that other states have restructured their
tax laws in an effort to attract projects and high-paying jobs.  Texas
needs to level the tax burden on capital-intensive companies to encourage
large-scale capital investments in the state to create new jobs, and to
enable local government officials to compete with the economic incentives
being offered by other states.  House Bill 1200 creates a local option
economic development tool that allows the state to compete for jobs and
large projects.     


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the comptroller of public accounts in
SECTION 1 (Section 313.031, Tax Code) and the commissioner of education in
SECTION 6 (Section 42.2515, Education Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 1200 amends the Tax, Education, and Government codes.  The bill
amends the Tax Code to provide the categorization of school districts,
including certain rural school districts, for purposes of determining the
required minimum amount of a qualified investment and the minimum amount of
a limitation on appraised value.  The bill authorizes an owner of qualified
property to apply to the governing body of a school district in which the
property is located for a limitation on the appraised value for district ad
valorem tax purposes of the person's qualified property .  A municipality
or county is authorized to impose and collect from the owner of a qualified
property a reasonable impact fee to pay for the cost of providing
improvements associated with or attributable to property that receives a
limitation on appraised value.  The bill sets forth provisions relating to
an application and the form used for such a limitation.  The bill provides
that the governing body of a district is not required to consider an
application for a limitation, but requires the governing body of a district
if it elects to consider an application to engage a third person to conduct
an economic impact evaluation to determine whether to approve or disapprove
such an application.  The bill sets forth the factors that must be included
in the economic impact evaluation.  The bill also sets forth provisions
relating to the determination of the applicant's eligibility for a
limitation and the amount of a limitation.  The bill requires the governing
body of a school district and a property owner to enter into a written
agreement for the implementation of the limitation on appraised value on
the owner's qualified property and sets forth provisions regarding such an
agreement.  The bill sets forth provisions relating to public disclosure of
certain business information provided to a district with an application for
a limitation. The bill prohibits the district, if a limitation is approved,
from adopting a tax rate that exceeds the district's rollback tax rate for
each of the first two tax years that begins after the date the application
is approved. The bill provides that property subject to a limitation in a
tax year is not eligible for tax abatement by a district in that tax year.
(Secs.  313.006, 313.022-313.030, 313.051-313.054). 
The bill provides that a person is also entitled to a tax credit from the
district that approved the limitation in an amount equal to the amount of
ad valorem taxes paid to that district that were imposed on the portion  of
the appraised value that exceeds the amount of the limitation in each year
in the applicable qualifying time period.  The bill sets forth provisions
relating to an application for a tax credit, a determination of a person's
eligibility for such a credit, and the amount of credit received and the
implementation of procedures for a tax credit (Secs. 313.102-313.104).  The
bill sets forth provisions regarding remedy for erroneous credit that is
determined by the comptroller and the governing body of a school district
(Sec. 313.105).            

The bill requires the comptroller of public accounts to adopt rules and
forms necessary for the implementation and administration of the above
provisions until their expiration on December 31, 2007, but provides that a
limitation approved before the expiration date continues in effect and a
property owner's tax credit is not affected by the expiration of these
provisions  (Secs.  313.007, 313.031, and 313.171). 

The bill requires the chief appraiser to annually compile and send to the
Texas Department of Economic Development (department) a  list of properties
in the appraisal district that in that tax year have a market value of $100
million or more or are subject to a limitation on appraised value.  The
bill authorizes the designation of reinvestment zones by a district and
sets forth provisions for a district to consider in making a designation.
Before designating an area as a reinvestment zone, the governing body of a
district is authorized to seek the recommendation of the commissioners
court of each county and the governing body of each municipality that has
territory in the district.  The bill provides that the Property
Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act expires September 1, 2005, if not
continued in effect (Secs. 23.03, 312.0025, and 312.006).  

The bill amends the Education Code to provide that a district is entitled
to state aid each school year in an amount equal to the amount of all tax
credits credited against ad valorem taxes of the district in that year. The
bill authorizes the commissioner of education to adopt rules to implement
and administer this provision (Sec. 42.2515).  The bill provides that
school district taxes for which a credit is granted are considered taxes
collected by the district as if the taxes were paid when the credit for the
taxes was granted (Sec. 42.302). 

The bill amends the Government Code to require the governing board of the
department to include in its annual report to the governor and to the
legislature a listing of the properties in this state that have a market
value of $100 million or more or are subject to a limitation on appraised
value that are compiled and reported to the department by the chief
appraiser, a listing of the school districts in this state, classified
according to the taxable value of property in the district, a listing of
prospective projects identified by the business development division of the
department that proposed to invest at least $100 million in the state,
information identifying the other state or country in which a prospective
project is located and stating the primary reason the prospective project
did not locate in this state, and an assessment as to the effectiveness of
the incentives provided by the Texas Economic Development Act, accompanied
by certain information relating to agreements made under that Act.  The
bill requires the comptroller to assist with such an annual report.  The
bill also requires the attorney general, the comptroller, the department,
and the Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness to conduct a
survey of tax incentive and economic development laws enacted in other
states since 1990, and to annually prepare a joint report of the survey
results to be delivered to the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the
speaker of the house of representatives with recommendations for
legislative action.  The bill requires any state agency, on request, to
assist in conducting the survey or in preparing the joint report (Secs.
481.0044 and 481.168).  

January 1, 2002.  Provisions relating to the expiration date of the
Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act take effect on September 1,