Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2050
By: Truitt
Land & Resource Management


Currently, the 1968 Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport Agreement exempts
land within airport boundaries from ad valorem taxation and states that the
airport has no desire to create a private industrial park.  A commercial
development project has been planned which would offer commercial
enterprises exemption from property taxes, which may violate the terms of
the agreement.  House Bill 2050 requires the development of a land use plan
for all property within airport boundaries and the divestiture of property
not planned for essential airport services. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Department of Transportation
in SECTION 1 (Section 22.080, Transportation Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 2050 amends the Transportation Code to provide that it is the
policy of the state that real property owned by airports jointly owned by
two municipalities shall be used only for essential airport services.  The
bill provides that the state has adopted a system of school finance that
requires all real and personal property that is not used for governmental
purposes to be subject to ad valorem taxation for the betterment of all
school children in the state.  The bill requires an airport to determine
its long-term plans for all of the real property situated within its
boundaries and designate the uses for the land in  a report to the Texas
Department of Transportation (TxDOT) no later than December 31, 2001.  The
bill requires an airport's land use report to specify the current and
planned uses of such land over the next succeeding five years, including
any planned expansion that will require annexation.  The bill requires an
airport to divest itself of ownership of any real property that is not
designated for essential airport services in the land use report.  The bill
authorizes improvements such as commercial buildings to be considered to be
used for essential airport services only if the buildings are used by
companies whose products or services are directly related to air navigation
and transportation.   The bill requires TxDOT to be authorized to approve
all designations of essential airport services. 

The bill requires an airport to sell real property not planned to be
utilized for essential airport services before the fifth anniversary of the
submission to TxDOT of the required land use report.  If the real property
cannot be sold for fair market value as determined by an independent
appraisal, then the airport is authorized to retain ownership of the
property, upon the approval of  TxDOT, providing that the municipality in
which the land is located is required to be authorized to regulate the
land's uses through its zoning authority.  TxDOT is required to perform an
audit of each airport that is jointly owned by two municipalities each
fifth year after the effective date of the Act, and if it determines that
land that remains owned by the airport is not used for essential airport
services, then TxDOT is required to issue a warning to the airport that
such a finding has been made.  The bill requires TxDOT, if the next audit
performed by TxDOT finds the real property identified in the prior audit is
still not used for essential airport services, to commence an action to
enforce the intent of the Act and to secure the divestiture of the real
property immediately.  The bill requires an airport to reimburse TxDOT for
the costs incurred in performing the audits.  The bill provides that TxDOT
is authorized to adopt rules to implement the intent of the Act. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.