Comptroller Amends Rule for Law Change
When setting the 2000 property tax rate, some taxing units will see changes in the truth-in-taxation process. These changes vary by type of taxing unit. Some changes do not apply to school districts and small taxing units. Small taxing units are those units that propose a tax rate of $0.50 or less to generate $500,000 or less in taxes.Taxing units other than small units and school districts
The Comptroller's Property Tax Division (PTD) will address these changes in its regional seminars. (See the related article on page 1 and page 3). The Truth in Taxation Manual: A Guide for Setting Tax Rates 2000 will include these new law changes.
Two of those changes are reported below.
Effective Jan. 1, 2000, House Bill (H.B.) 954 changed what triggers the public hearing and publishing notices for a proposed tax increase. Beginning with the 2000 tax rate, Section 26.05(d) returns to the law that was in effect before the 1998 tax year.Comptroller Rule 9.17
A taxing unit will be required to hold a public hearing and publish newspaper ads before adopting a tax rate that exceeds the lower of the rollback rate or 103 percent of the effective tax rate. The first quarter-page notice will change to reflect different wording for this new law. For tax years 1998 and 1999, taxing units were required to hold the hearing and publish notices if the proposed tax rate resulted in any increase in total property tax revenues from the preceding year.
The Comptroller has proposed an amendment to Comptroller Rule 9.17 concerning the notice of public hearing on tax increase. The amendment provides for changing the notice of public hearing on tax increase as required by H. B. 954.All taxing units
The proposed amended Model Form 50-197 includes italic information for completing the form. The form also will be part of the Truth in Taxation Manual. The final adopted form will be included in the division's mailing to all taxing units this summer.
Written comments about the proposed form may be sent to the Comptroller's Property Tax Division at P.O. Box 13528, Austin, Texas 78711. Copies may also be requested by calling 1-800-252-9121. In Austin, call 512/305-9999.
Effective Jan. 1, 2000, Senate Bill (S. B.) 1118 requires all taxing units to adopt their tax rates by a certain date. The deadline to adopt is before the later of Sept. 30 or the 60th day after the taxing unit receives the appraisal roll.
Failure to adopt a tax rate by the deadline will result in the taxing unit adopting the effective tax rate or last years rate, whichever is lower, as its tax rate for the current year.