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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle B. Property Tax Administration

Chapter 6. Local Administration
Subchapter B. Assessors and Collectors

Sec. 6.21. County Assessor-Collector.
Sec. 6.22. Assessor and Collector for Other Taxing Units.
Sec. 6.23. Duties of Assessor and Collector.
Sec. 6.235. Continuing Education Requirements.
Sec. 6.24. Contracts for Assessment and Collection.
Sec. 6.25. Repealed.
Sec. 6.26. Election to Consolidate Assessing and Collecting Functions.
Sec. 6.27. Compensation for Assessment and Collections.
Sec. 6.275. Release of Assessor and Collector from Liability.
Sec. 6.28. Bonds for State and County Taxes.
Sec. 6.29. Bonds for Other Taxes.
Sec. 6.30. Attorneys Representing Taxing Units.

Sec. 6.21. County Assessor-Collector.

(a) The assessor-collector for a county is determined as provided by Article VIII, Sections 14, 16, and 16a, of the Texas Constitution.

(b) If a county with a population of less than 10,000 authorizes a separate county assessor-collector as provided by Article VIII, Section 16a, of the Texas Constitution, the commissioners court may appoint a county assessor-collector to serve until an assessor-collector is elected at the next general election and has qualified.

Cross References:

County tax assessor-collector as nonvoting appraisal district director, see Sec. 6.03.
Taxing unit assessor may be chief appraiser of appraisal district, see Sec. 6.05(c).
Determining assessor and collector for taxing units other than county, see Sec. 6.22.
Duties of assessor and collector for county, see Sec. 6.23.
Compensation for county assessor and collector, see Sec. 6.27.
Giving bonds to qualify for office, see Sec. 6.28.

Notes:

The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

A county tax assessor collector who does not perform property tax functions is waived from registering with the Board of Tax Professional Examiners (BTPE). The interlocal contract between an assessor-collector and an appraisal district or other taxing unit requires the appraisal district or taxing unit to collect all taxes, including the motor vehicle inventory tax. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-273 (2000).

County tax funds may be electronically transferred from the county tax assessor's account in the county depository to the county treasury, but only the county tax assessor-collector is authorized to initiate electronic transfer of the funds. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-231 (2000).

The office of county tax assessor-collector vacated by the incumbent's death may not be filled by the commissioners court with the appointment of the first cousin of a commissioner. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-253 (1984).

Sec. 6.22. Assessor and Collector for Other Taxing Units.

(a) The assessor and collector for a taxing unit other than a county or a home-rule city are determined by the law creating or authorizing creation of the unit.

(b) The assessor and collector for a home-rule city are determined by the city's charter and ordinances.

(c) The governing body of a taxing unit authorized to have its own assessor and collector by official action in the manner required by law for official action by the body may require the county to assess and collect the taxes the unit imposes in the county in the manner in which the county assesses and collects its taxes. The governing body of the unit may revoke the requirement at any time by the same official action.

Cross References:

Determining assessor and collector for county, see Sec. 6.21.
Duties of assessor and collector for other taxing units, see Sec. 6.23.
Compensation of assessor and collector of units other than county, see Sec. 6.27.
Collector required to give bond, see Sec. 6.29.

Notes:

Taxing unit may hire independent collection counsel where county collects taxes for the unit. Bexar County v. North East Independent School District, 802 S.W.2d 854 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1990, writ denied).

Sec. 6.23. Duties of Assessor and Collector.

(a) The county assessor-collector shall assess and collect taxes on property in the county for the county. He shall also assess and collect taxes on property for another taxing unit if:

(1) the law creating or authorizing creation of the unit requires it to use the county assessor-collector for the taxes the unit imposes in the county;

(2) the law creating or authorizing creation of the unit does not mention who assesses and collects its taxes and the unit imposes taxes in the county;

(3) the governing body of the unit requires the county to assess and collect its taxes as provided by Subsection (c) of Section 6.22 of this code; or

(4) required by an intergovernmental contract.

(b) The assessor and collector for a taxing unit other than a county shall assess, collect, or assess and collect taxes, as applicable, for the unit. He shall also assess, collect, or assess and collect taxes, as applicable, for another unit if:

(1) required by or pursuant to the law creating or authorizing creation of the other unit; or

(2) required by an intergovernmental contract.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 125, ch. 13, Sec. 22; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4819, ch. 851, Sec. 2.

Cross References:

Determination of assessor and collector for county, see Sec. 6.21.
Assessor and collector for taxing unit other than county, see Sec 6.22(a).
Taxing unit may require county to assess and collect taxes, see Sec. 6.22(c).
Reasonable fee for county assessor-collector, see Sec. 6.27.
Giving bonds to qualify for office, see Sec. 6.28.

Notes:

The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

A county tax assessor collector who does not perform property tax functions is waived from registering with the Board of Tax Professional Examiners (BTPE). The interlocal contract between an assessor-collector and an appraisal district or other taxing unit requires the appraisal district or taxing unit to collect all taxes, including the motor vehicle inventory tax. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-273 (2000).

County tax funds may be electronically transferred from the county tax assessor's account in the county depository to the county treasury, but only the county tax assessor-collector is authorized to initiate electronic transfer of the funds. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-231 (2000).

Sec. 6.235. Continuing Education Requirements.

(a) During each full term of office, a county assessor-collector of a county with a population of 1,000,000 or more shall complete 64 or more classroom hours of instruction that relate to the duties of the office and that are accredited by the Board of Tax Professional Examiners, the division of the office of comptroller with responsibility for property taxes, the division of the Texas Department of Transportation with responsibility for motor vehicles, or the secretary of state as continuing education credits for the office of county assessor-collector.

(b) A county assessor-collector of a county with a population of 1,000,000 or more shall certify completion of the requirements of Subsection (a) to the executive director of the Board of Tax Professional Examiners.

(c) For the purposes of removal under Subchapter B, Chapter 87, Local Government Code, "incompetency" in the case of a county assessor-collector includes the failure to comply with the requirements of this section.

Added by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 1934, ch. 501, Sec. 2.

Cross References:

Board of Tax Professional Examiners, see art. 8885, V.T.C.S.

Sec. 6.24. Contracts for Assessment and Collection.

(a) The governing body of a taxing unit other than a county may contract as provided by the Interlocal Cooperation Act with the governing body of another unit or with the board of directors of an appraisal district for the other unit or the district to perform duties relating to the assessment or collection of taxes.

(b) The commissioners court with the approval of the county assessor-collector may contract as provided by the Interlocal Cooperation Act with the governing body of another taxing unit in the county or with the board of directors of the appraisal district for the other unit or the district to perform duties relating to the assessment or collection of taxes for the county. If a county contracts to have its taxes assessed and collected by another taxing unit or by the appraisal district, except as provided by Subsection (c), the contract shall require the other unit or the district to assess and collect all taxes the county is required to assess and collect.

(c) A contract entered into under Subsection (b) may exclude from the taxes the other unit or the district is required to assess and collect taxes the county is required to assess and collect under one or more of the following provisions:

(1) Section 23.121;
(2) Section 23.122;
(3) Section 23.124;
(4) Section 23.1241;
(5) Section 23.1242;
(6) Section 23.125;
(7) Section 23.127; or
(8) Section 23.128.

(d) A contract under this section may provide for the entity that collects taxes to contract with an attorney, as provided by Section 6.30 of this code, for collection of delinquent taxes.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 125, ch. 13, Secs. 23 & 24; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4829, ch. 851, Sec. 28; amended by HB 490, 77th Tex. Leg., 2001, eff. September 1, 2001.

Cross References:

Interlocal Cooperation Act, see art. 4413(32c), V.T.C.S.
Contracts with attorney to enforce delinquent tax collection, see Sec. 6.30(c).
Constitutional authorization for intergovernmental contracts, see art. III, Secs. 63 & 64, Tex. Const.

Notes:

School district's mandamus action brought to require the tax assessor-collector to provide the district with tax rolls, material and data as outlined in intergovernmental contract was appropriate, regardless of the school district's breach of contract suit in which money damages were an inadequate remedy and where there was some contractual performance. Lampson v. South Park Independent School District, 698 S.W.2d 407 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1985, writ ref'd n.r.e.), writ later granted; reversed and remanded, 742 S.W.2d 275 (Tex. 1987).

A county tax assessor collector who does not perform property tax functions is waived from registering with the Board of Tax Professional Examiners (BTPE). The interlocal contract between an assessor-collector and an appraisal district or other taxing unit requires the appraisal district or taxing unit to collect all taxes, including the motor vehicle inventory tax. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-273 (2000).

County tax funds may be electronically transferred from the county tax assessor's account in the county depository to the county treasury, but only the county tax assessor-collector is authorized to initiate electronic transfer of the funds. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-231 (2000).When the commissioners court contracts to have its taxes collected by another entity and the county assessor-collector approves the contract, the contract is not subject to approval by an individual who assumes the office of assessor-collector during the term of the contract. A tax assessor-collector of a county that contracts to have its taxes collected by another entity is not actively engaged in assessing and collecting taxes and, therefore, is not required or permitted to register with the Board of Tax Professional Examiners under Article 8885, VTCS. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-470 (1998).

A county tax assessor-collector's approval of a contract pursuant to Section 6.24(b) for collection of the inventory tax would not constitute an unlawful delegation of the collector's Section 23.122 authority. Given that a collector may approve a contract pursuant to Section 6.24, the interest earned from the escrow account goes to the county assessor-collector for the purpose of defraying administrative costs. Even if another taxing unit or contractor administers the inventory tax collection, the interest from the escrow accounts must be allocated to the county tax collector. The collector, however, might then use the interest as a source of funds to pay for the Section 6.24(b) contract for collecting the inventory tax. Section 23.122(p) clearly requires the deposit of fines imposed for failure to file monthly tax statements to the county general fund. There is no authority that would require otherwise or that would transform a taxing unit that collects the taxes pursuant to a Section 6.24(b) contract into the county. Letter Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-98-085 (1998).

Tax Code Section 31.08(a) neither requires nor permits the appraisal district's chief appraiser to retain tax certificate fees. An appraisal district is not a taxing unit because it is not authorized to impose and is not imposing property taxes. An appraisal district authorized to collect taxes for taxing units by contract does not transform the district into a taxing unit - it does not have the authority to impose taxes but rather merely to collect them. Because Section 31.08 refers to the treasury of the taxing unit, the chief appraiser deposits the tax certificate fees to the treasury of the taxing unit or units for which the appraisal district collects. A taxing unit that contracts to have the appraisal district collect property taxes may compensate the district in part with tax certificate fees. The contract must clearly express that intent. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-97-041 (1997).

A person may not serve simultaneously as a county tax assessor-collector and school board member of a school located in the county. The incompatibility doctrine prevents the dual office-holding when the school district contracts with the county assessor to collect its taxes. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-92-004 (1992).

The trustees of an independent school district may enter into a tax collection contract with the county commissioners court. This ruling applies even when the county assessor-collector is a member of the board of directors of the appraisal district in which the school district participates. It is not a violation of the constitutional prohibition contained in art. XVI, Sec. 40 against holding two offices of emolument for the same person to simultaneously be both county assessor-collector and a member of an appraisal district's board of directors. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1157 (1990).

Section 6.24, which permits consolidated collections under interlocal contract, is constitutional as applied to counties. The county may contract for assistance for the county assessor-collector under Sec. 6.24. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-833 (1987).

The Interlocal Cooperation Act allows local governments to contract among themselves for governmental services "which all parties to the contract are legally authorized to perform." However, statutes do not permit a county to construct a facility for the sole use of another political subdivision. Therefore, a county has no authority to buy land and construct a building solely for an appraisal district's use. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-191 (1984).

Sec. 6.25. Repealed in 1981.

Sec. 6.26. Election To Consolidate Assessing and Collecting Functions.

(a) The qualified voters residing in an appraisal district by petition submitted to the county clerk of the county principally served by the appraisal district may require that an election be held to determine whether or not to require the appraisal district, the county assessor-collector, or a specified taxing unit within the appraisal district to assess, collect, or assess and collect property taxes on property appraised by the district for all taxing units.

(b) The qualified voters of a taxing unit that assesses, collects, or assesses and collects its own property taxes by petition submitted to the governing body of the taxing unit may require that an election be held to determine whether or not to require the appraisal district, the county assessor-collector, or another taxing unit that is assessing and collecting property taxes to assess, collect, or assess and collect the unit's property taxes.

(c) A petition is valid if:

(1) it states that it is intended to require an election in the appraisal district or taxing unit on the question of consolidation of assessing or collecting functions or both;

(2) it states the functions to be consolidated and identifies the entity or office that will be required to perform the functions; and

(3) it is signed by a number of qualified voters equal to at least 10 percent of the number of qualified voters, according to the most recent official list of qualified voters, residing in the appraisal district, if the petition is authorized by Subsection (a) of this section, or in the taxing unit, if the petition is authorized by Subsection (b) of this section, or by 10,000 qualified voters, whichever number is less.

(d) Not later than the 10th day after the day the petition is submitted, the commissioners court, if the petition is authorized by Subsection (a) of this section, or the governing body of the taxing unit, if the petition is authorized by Subsection (b) of this section, shall determine whether the petition is valid and pass a resolution stating its finding. The signature of a person may not be counted for purposes of validating the petition under Subsection (c)(3) of this section if:

(1) the person does not enter beside his signature at the time of his signing the date on which he signs the petition; or

(2) the person signs the petition more than 30 days before the date on which the petition is submitted to the county clerk or the governing body.

(e) If the commissioners court or the governing body finds that the petition is valid, it shall order that an election be held in the district or taxing unit on the next uniform election date prescribed by the Texas Election Code that is more than 60 days after the last day on which it could have acted to approve or disapprove the petition. At the election, the ballots shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "Requiring the (name of entity or office) to (assess, collect, or assess and collect, as applicable) property taxes for (all taxing units in the appraisal district for _____________ county or name of taxing unit or units, as applicable)."

(f) If a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question in the election favor the proposition, the entity or office named by the ballot shall perform the functions named by the ballot beginning with the next time property taxes are assessed or collected, as applicable, that is more than 90 days after the date of the election. If the governing bodies (and appraisal district board of directors when the district is involved) agree, a function may be consolidated when performance of the function begins in less than 90 days after the date of the election.

(g) A taxing unit shall pay the actual cost of performance of the functions to the office or entity that performs functions for it pursuant to an election as provided by this section.

(h) If a taxing unit is required by election pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section to assess, collect, or assess and collect property taxes for another taxing unit, it also shall perform the functions for all taxing units for which the other unit previously performed those functions pursuant to law or intergovernmental contract.

(i) If functions are consolidated by an election, a taxing unit may not terminate the consolidation within two years after the date of the consolidation.

(j) An appraisal district may not be required by an election to assess, collect, or assess and collect taxes on property outside the district's boundaries. A taxing unit may not be required by an election to assess, collect, or assess and collect taxes on property outside the boundaries of the appraisal district that appraises property for the unit.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 125, ch. 13, Sec. 25; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4612, ch. 785, Sec. 1.

Notes:

Sec. 6.26 violates art. III, Sec. 64(a), Texas Constitution. City of Weatherford v. Parker County, 794 S.W.2d 33 (Tex. 1990).

The elected county tax assessor-collector is not constitutionally required to appraise property within an appraisal district. Article VIII, Sec. 18, Tex. Const., separates appraisal from the assessing function of the county tax assessor-collector, and directs the legislature to provide for a single appraisal within each county. The appraisal districts are charged with responsibility for appraising taxable property. Wilson v. Galveston County Appraisal District, 713 S.W.2d 98 (Tex. 1986).

The county tax assessor-collector's constitutional duties to assess and collect taxes may not be taken away by an election under Sec. 6.26. The part of Sec. 6.26 that allows voters by election to remove the assessment or collection, or both, of county taxes from the county assessor is unconstitutional. The county may contract for assistance for the county assessor under Sec. 6.24. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-833 (1987).

Sec. 6.26 does not authorize an election to consolidate appraisal functions. The term "assessment" does not include the activity of valuing property. A petition calling for consolidation of appraisal functions is not in compliance with this section, and therefore not valid. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM 747 (1987).

Sec. 6.27. Compensation For Assessment and Collection.

(a) Repealed in 1983.

(b) The county assessor-collector is entitled to a reasonable fee, which may not exceed the actual costs incurred, for assessing and collecting taxes for a taxing unit pursuant to Subdivisions (1) through (3) of Subsection (a) of Section 6.23 of this code.

(c) The assessor or collector for a taxing unit other than a county is entitled to reasonable compensation, which may not exceed the actual costs incurred, for assessing or collecting taxes for a taxing unit pursuant to Subsection (b) of Section 6.23 of this code.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 125, ch. 13, Sec. 26; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4829, ch. 851, Sec. 28.

Cross References:

Determination of assessor-collector, see Secs. 6.21 & 6.22.
Assessor-collector's duties, see Sec. 6.23.
County tax assessor and collector, see art. VIII, Sec. 16, Tex. Const.

Notes:

Tax Code Section 31.08(a) neither requires nor permits the appraisal district's chief appraiser to retain tax certificate fees. An appraisal district is not a taxing unit because it is not authorized to impose and is not imposing property taxes. An appraisal district authorized to collect taxes for taxing units by contract does not transform the district into a taxing unit - it does not have the authority to impose taxes but rather merely to collect them. Because Section 31.08 refers to the treasury of the taxing unit, the chief appraiser deposits the tax certificate fees to the treasury of the taxing unit or units for which the appraisal district collects. A taxing unit that contracts to have the appraisal district collect property taxes may compensate the district in part with tax certificate fees. The contract must clearly express that intent. Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-97-041 (1997).

"Actual costs" under this section refers to the costs that the collecting unit incurs over and above those it would incur if it were not collecting for another unit. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-996 (1988).

A county is entitled to a reasonable fee, not to exceed actual costs incurred, for those junior college districts, other than joint county junior college districts, for which it assesses and collects taxes. A county that assesses and collects taxes for a joint county junior college district shall receive compensation in an amount agreed upon between the parties, but not to exceed two percent of the ad valorem taxes assessed. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-655 (1987).

Sec. 6.275. Release of Assessor and Collector from Liability.

A county assessor-collector is not personally liable for the loss of public funds in the custody of the assessor-collector or the assessor-collector's office if a district court enters a declaratory judgment that the loss is due to a reason other than the negligence or misconduct of the assessor-collector.

Added by 1987 Tex. Laws, 2nd C.S., ch. 37, Sec. 1.

Notes:

Section 6.275 provides the exclusive method for relieving the county tax assessor-collector of personal responsibility for loss of funds in his custody or the custody of his office. The assessor-collector is not required to prepay any shortfall pending the determination of the district court regarding negligence or misconduct. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1055 (1989).

Sec. 6.28. Bonds for State and County Taxes.

(a) Before beginning to perform the duties of office, a person elected or appointed as county assessor-collector must give bonds to the state and to the county, conditioned on the faithful performance of the person's duties as assessor-collector.

(b) The bond for state taxes must be payable to the governor and his successors in office in an amount equal to five percent of the net state collections from motor vehicle sales and use taxes and motor vehicle registration fees in the county during the year ending August 31 preceding the date bond is given, except that the amount of bond may not be less than $2,500 or more than $100,000. To be effective, the bond must be approved by the commissioners court and the state comptroller of public accounts.

(c) The bond for county taxes must be payable to the commissioners court in an amount equal to 10 percent of the total amount of county taxes imposed in the preceding tax year, except that the amount of the bond may not be more than $100,000. To be effective, the bond must be approved by the commissioners court.

(d) The state comptroller of public accounts or the commissioners court may require a new bond for state taxes at any time. The commissioners court may require a new bond for county taxes at any time. However, the total amount of state bonds or county bonds required of an assessor-collector may not exceed $100,000 at one time. The commissioners court shall suspend the assessor-collector from office and begin removal proceedings if he fails to give new bond within a reasonable time after demand.

(e) The assessor-collector's official oath and bonds for state and county taxes shall be recorded in the office of the county clerk, and the county judge shall submit the bond for state taxes to the state comptroller of public accounts.

(f) A county shall pay a reasonable premium for the assessor-collector's bonds for state and county taxes out of the county general revenue fund on presentation to the commissioners court of a bill for the premium authenticated as required by law for other claims against the county. A court of competent jurisdiction may determine the reasonableness of any amount claimed as pre-mium.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 126, ch. 13, Sec. 27; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4820, ch. 851, Sec. 3; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3963, ch. 1097, Sec. 1.

Cross References:

Determination of county assessor-collector, see Sec. 6.21.
Duties of assessor and collector, see Sec. 6.23.

Notes:

The 1999 amendments to Section 6.28(a) apply to a county assessor-collector who is elected or appointed on or after the effective date of the amendment.

Sec. 6.29. Bonds for Other Taxes.

(a) A taxing unit, other than a county, that has its own collector shall require him to give bond conditioned on the faithful performance of his duties. To be effective, the bond must be made payable to and must be approved by the governing body of the unit in an amount determined by the governing body. The governing body may require a new bond at any time, and failure to give new bond within a reasonable time after demand is a ground for removal from office. The governing body may prescribe additional requirements for the bond.

(b) A taxing unit whose taxes are collected by the collector for another taxing unit, by an officer or employee of another taxing unit or of an appraisal district, or by any other person other than the unit's own collector may require that collector, officer, employee, or other person to give bond conditioned on the faithful performance of his duties. To be effective, the bond must be made payable to and must be approved by and paid for by the governing body of the unit requiring bond in an amount determined by the governing body. The governing body may prescribe additional requirements for the bond.

(c) A taxing unit shall pay the premium for a bond required pursuant to this section from its general fund or as provided by intergovernmental contract.

Amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 125, Sec. 1.

Cross References:

Assessor and collector for taxing unit other than county, see Sec. 6.22.
Intergovernmental contract under Interlocal Cooperation Act, see Sec. 6.24.

Sec. 6.30. Attorneys Representing Taxing Units.

(a) The county attorney or, if there is no county attorney, the district attorney shall represent the county to enforce the collection of delinquent taxes if the commissioners court does not contract with a private attorney as provided by Subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The governing body of a taxing unit other than a county may determine who represents the unit to enforce the collection of delinquent taxes. If a taxing unit collects taxes for another taxing unit, the attorney representing the unit to enforce the collection of delinquent taxes may represent the other unit with consent of its governing body.

(c) The governing body of a taxing unit may contract with any competent attorney to represent the unit to enforce the collection of delinquent taxes. The attorney's compensation is set in the contract, but the total amount of compensation provided may not exceed 20 percent of the amount of delinquent tax, penalty, and interest collected.

(d) Repealed in 1983.

(e) A contract with an attorney that does not conform to the requirements of this section is void.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 126, ch. 13, Sec. 28; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 4829, ch. 851, Secs. 4 & 28.

Cross References:

Additional penalty to defray collection costs, see Sec. 33.07.
Recovery of attorney's fees, see Sec. 33.48.
Contracting to collect delinquent taxes, see Sec. 6.24(d).
Constitutional authorization for intergovernmental contracts, see art. III, Secs. 63 & 64, Tex. Const.

Notes:

Constitutional section prohibiting a legislative member from being interested in a contract with a county that was authorized by a law passed during the member's term did not prevent county from entering into a delinquent tax collection contract with a law firm having an ex-legislator, who was in the legislature when Sec. 6.30 was passed, on staff. Damon v. Cornett, 781 S.W.2d 597 (Tex. 1989).

Sovereign immunity applies only to a government and not to a delinquent tax law firm; the law firm could claim official immunity but must prove that the taxing authorities have the right to control the work details or other criteria to distinguish the relationship of employee from that of independent contractor. If a delinquent tax law firm is an independent contractor, there is no immunity from a lawsuit. Gonzalez v. Heard, Goggan, Blair & Williams, 923 S.W.2d 764 (Tex. App.- Corpus Christi 1996, writ denied).

Taxing unit may hire independent collection counsel where county collects taxes for the unit. Bexar County v. North East Independent School District, 802 S.W.2d 854 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1990, writ denied).

A contract for county delinquent tax collections under this section was void where a former partner in the law firm had been a member of the legislature which passed the legislation permitting law firms to collect delinquent taxes for counties. Cornett v. Damon, 768 S.W.2d 770 (Tex. App.-Houston 1989) rev'd, 781 S.W.2d 597 (Tex. 1989).

A contract attorney compensated under Tax Code Section 33.07 may not make a donation to the county if the donation in effect refunds part of the compensation to the county. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-443 (2001).

The common law doctrine of incompatibility does not bar a director of an appraisal district from contracting under Sec. 6.30 of the tax code with a local political subdivision to collect its delinquent taxes. An attorney who has contracted with a taxing unit to collect its delinquent taxes is not an "employee" under Sec. 6.03. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1060 (1989). Section 6.036, however, would bar an attorney who collects delinquent taxes for a taxing unit from serving on the board of directors.

A delinquent tax collection contract under this section does not unconstitutionally infringe on the county tax assessor-collector's authority under art. VIII, Sec. 14, Texas Constitution. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-1015 (1988).

The Sec. 33.07 penalty is a substitute for court-ordered attorney fees and can be collected even if no delinquent tax lawsuit is filed. A taxing unit may not apply any of the Sec. 33.07 penalty to cover costs of collection that it incurs; it must use all of the penalty solely to compensate the attorney with whom it has contracted. The maximum penalty under Sec. 33.07 is 15 percent, but the unit may adopt a lower penalty if it chooses to do so. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-857 (1988).

Neither a county nor city attorney may in his or her official capacity enter into a contract for enforcement of delinquent tax collection. If the county or city attorney represents the county or city, respectively, no taxing unit contracting with the city or county for delinquent tax collection may impose an additional penalty pursuant to Sec. 33.07. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-135 (1984).

Harris County Commissioners Court may not contract with the county attorney pursuant to Sec. 6.30 to enforce delinquent tax collection. The commissioners may not impose an additional penalty to defray collection costs when the Harris County attorney represents the county in enforcement of delinquent tax collection. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-14 (1983).

[Sections 6.31 to 6.40 reserved for expansion]