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Comptroller News

WATER DISTRICTS

Comptroller may review some water districts

The 2005 Texas Legislature adopted new provisions in House Bill (H.B.) 467 that require the Comptroller, at the request of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), to perform financial management reviews (FMRs) of water districts and other entities seeking funding from the board.

Before TWDB approves an application or provides any funds for financing water and sewer programs in disadvantaged areas, the board may request that the Comptroller perform an FMR of an applicant and provide the board with the results of the review. If TWDB requests an FMR, a team of Comptroller analysts would perform the reviews to determine if local governments are complying with principles of sound accounting and internal control, as stipulated by H.B. 467.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Property Tax Division explains local tax rates

During August, the Comptroller's Property Tax Division (PTD) will conduct 19 regional seminars to explain the laws that local government taxing units must follow when adopting 2005 property tax rates. PTD staff also will review any new property tax legislation passed by the 2005 Legislature.

PTD staff will detail how to calculate the effective and rollback tax rates, what to publish and when to hold a tax rate rollback election. The staff will discuss any legal changes required in adopting the tax rates for 2005.

The regional seminars are free and do not require pre-registration. Each one-day seminar will begin at 9 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. The schedule is posted on the Comptroller's Local Government Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/lga/wotlg/wotlg0504/explaining.html.

For any questions about the seminars or locations, please call the PTD's Technical Assistance hotline at 1-800-252-9121, extension 2. In Austin, call 512-305-9999.


SALES TAXES

Sales tax revenue posts healthy gains

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn said in July that the state received $1.29 billion in sales tax revenue in June, up 8.9 percent compared with June 2004.

Strayhorn delivered $344.5 million in July sales tax allocations to cities, counties and other local taxing entities, up 9.2 percent compared with July 2004.

Comptroller Strayhorn sent $232.8 million to Texas cities, up 8.7 percent compared with last July; $20.7 million to Texas counties, up 9.7 percent; $9.8 million to 97 special-purpose taxing districts around the state, up 13.5 percent; and $81.1 million to 10 local transit systems, up 9.8 percent compared with a year ago.


FISCAL MANAGEMENT

September Fiscal Management training classes posted

The Comptroller's Fiscal Management division has posted the schedule for its September training courses. The division offers 30 classroom training courses and five Web-based courses to employees of state agencies and institutions of higher education at no charge.

All regularly scheduled classes qualify for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) course credits. Some courses require previous training or experience. Web-based classes can be taken anywhere a student has computer access. Fiscal Management staff also may be able to conduct out-of-town, on-site classes.

For more information, visit the Fiscal Management training Web site online at www.window.state.tx.us/fm/training. For general questions about Fiscal Management training, contact training coordinator Carolyn Gutierrez at fmtraining@cpa.state.tx.us.