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Title 1. Property Tax Code
Subtitle D. Appraisal and Assessment

Chapter 26. Assessment

Sec. 26.01. Submission of Rolls to Taxing Units.
Sec. 26.011. Repealed.
Sec. 26.012. Definitions.
Sec. 26.02. Assessment Ratios Prohibited.
Sec. 26.03. Treatment of Captured Appraised Value and Tax Increment.
Sec. 26.04. Submission of Roll to Governing Body; Effective and Rollback Tax Rates.
Sec. 26.041. Tax Rate of Unit Imposing Additional Sales and Use Tax.
Sec. 26.042. Repealed.
Sec. 26.043. Effective Tax Rate in City Imposing Mass Transit Sales and Use Tax.
Sec. 26.044. Effective Tax Rate to Pay for State Criminal Justice Mandate.
Sec. 26.0441. Tax Rate Adjustment for Indigent Health Care.
Sec. 26.045. Rollback Relief for Pollution Control Requirements.
Sec. 26.05. Tax Rate.
Sec. 26.051. Evidence of Unrecorded Tax Rate Adoption.
Sec. 26.052. Simplified Tax Rate Notice for Taxing Units with Low Tax Levies.
Sec. 26.06. Notice, Hearing, and Vote on Tax Increase.
Sec. 26.065. Supplemental Notice of Hearing on Tax Rate Increase.
Sec. 26.07. Election to Repeal Increase.
Sec. 26.08. Election to Ratify School Taxes.
Sec. 26.081. Petition Signatures.
Sec. 26.085. Election to Limit Dedication of School Funds to Junior College.
Sec. 26.09. Calculation of Tax.
Sec. 26.10. Prorating Taxes-Loss of Exemption.
Sec. 26.11. Prorating Taxes-Acquisition by Government.
Sec. 26.111. Prorating Taxes-Acquisition by Charitable Organization.
Sec. 26.112. Calculation of Taxes on Residence Homestead of Elderly or Disabled Person.
Sec. 26.113. Prorating Taxes-Acquisition by Nonprofit Organization.
Sec. 26.12. Units Created During Tax Year.
Sec. 26.13. Taxing Unit Consolidation During Tax Year.
Sec. 26.135. Tax Dates for Certain School Districts.
Sec. 26.14. Annexation of Property During Tax Year.
Sec. 26.15. Correction of Tax Roll.

Sec. 26.042. Repealed in 1988.

Notes:

References to Sec. 26.042 should see Sec. 26.041.

Sec. 26.043. Effective Tax Rate in City Imposing Mass Transit Sales and Use Tax.

(a) In the tax year in which a city has set an election on the question of whether to impose a local sales and use tax under Subchapter H, Chapter 453, Transportation Code, the officer or employee designated to make the calculations provided by Section 26.04 may not make those calculations until the outcome of the election is determined. If the election is determined in favor of the imposition of the tax, the representative shall subtract from the city's rollback and effective tax rates the amount that, if applied to the city's current total value, would impose an amount equal to the amount of property taxes budgeted in the current tax year to pay for expenses related to mass transit services.

(b) In a tax year to which this section applies, a reference in this chapter to the city's effective or rollback tax rate refers to that rate as adjusted under this section.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "mass transit services" does not include the construction, reconstruction, or general maintenance of municipal streets.

Added by 1986 Tex. Laws (3rd C.S.), ch. 10, art. 1, Sec. 35; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 947, Sec. 6; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 2606, ch. 736, Sec. 1; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 560, ch. 165, Sec. 29.05.

Sec. 26.044. Effective Tax Rate to Pay for State Criminal Justice Mandate.

(a) The first time that a county adopts a tax rate after September 1, 1991, in which the state criminal justice mandate applies to the county, the effective maintenance and operation rate for the county is increased by the rate calculated according to the following formula:

 Criminal Justice Mandate

(b) In the second and subsequent years that a county adopts a tax rate, if the amount spent by the county for the state criminal justice mandate increased over the previous year, the effective maintenance and operation rate for the county is increased by the rate calculated according to the following formula:

 This year's Criminal Justice Mandate

(c) The county shall include a notice of the increase in the effective maintenance and operation rate provided by this section, including a description and amount of the state criminal justice mandate, in the information published under Section 26.04(e) and Section 26.06(b) of this code.

(d) In this section, "state criminal justice mandate" means the amount spent by the county in the previous 12 months providing for the maintenance and operation cost of keeping inmates in county-paid facilities after they have been sentenced to the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as certified by the county auditor based on information provided by the county sheriff, minus the amount received from state revenue for reimbursement of such costs.

Added by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 204, ch. 10, Sec. 11.10.

Sec. 26.0441. Tax Rate Adjustment for Indigent Health Care.

(a) In the first tax year in which a taxing unit adopts a tax rate after January 1, 2000, and in which the enhanced minimum eligibility standards for indigent health care established under Section 61.006, Health and Safety Code, apply to the taxing unit, the effective maintenance and operations rate for the taxing unit is increased by the rate computed according to the following formula:

 Amount of Increase

(b) In each subsequent tax year, if the taxing unit's enhanced indigent health care expenses exceed the amount of those expenses for the preceding year, the effective maintenance and operations rate for the taxing unit is increased by the rate computed according to the following formula:

 Subsequent Year

(c) The taxing unit shall include a notice of the increase in its effective maintenance and operations rate provided by this section, including a brief description and the amount of the enhanced indigent health care expenditures, in the information published under Section 26.04(e) and, if applicable, Section 26.06(b).

(d) In this section, "enhanced indigent health care expenditures" for a tax year means the amount spent by the taxing unit for the maintenance and operation costs of providing indigent health care at the increased minimum eligibility standards established under Section 61.006, Health and Safety Code, effective on or after January 1, 2000, in the period beginning on July 1 of the year preceding the tax year for which the tax is adopted and ending on June 30 of the tax year for which the tax is adopted, less the amount of state assistance received by the taxing unit in accordance with Chapter 61, Health and Safety Code, that is attributable to those costs.

(e) Expired in 2002.

Added by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 4664, ch. 1377, Sec. 1.27.

Cross References:

Current total value, see Sec. 26.012(6).
Indigent health care expenses, see Chapter 61, Health and Safety Code.
Maintenance and operations funds, see Sec. 26.012(16).
Rollback tax rate, see Sec. 26.04(c).

Note:

A county hospital district could legally levy and collect taxes to provide medical services to its indigent citizens, even if it closed its hospital and leased its facilities to a private entity to continue to provide the medical services. The hospital closure did not relieve the district of its obligations to provide medical services to its indigents. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-220 (2000).

Sec. 26.045. Rollback Relief for Pollution Control Requirements.

(a) The rollback tax rate for a political subdivision of this state is increased by the rate that, if applied to the total current value, would impose an amount of taxes equal to the amount the political subdivision will spend out of its maintenance and operation funds under Section 26.012(16), Tax Code, to pay for a facility, device, or method for the control of air, water, or land pollution that is necessary to meet the requirements of a permit issued by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(b) In this section, "facility, device, or method for control of air, water, or land pollution" means any land, structure, building, installation, excavation, machinery, equipment, or device, and any attachment or addition to or reconstruction, replacement, or improvement of that property, that is used, constructed, acquired, or installed wholly or partly to meet or exceed rules or regulations adopted by any environmental protection agency of the United States or this state for the prevention, monitoring, control, or reduction of air, water, or land pollution.

(c) To receive an adjustment to the rollback tax rate under this section, a political subdivision shall present information to the executive director of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in a permit application or in a request for any exemption from a permit that would otherwise be required detailing:

(1) the anticipated environmental benefits from the installation of the facility, device, or method for the control of air, water, or land pollution;

(2) the estimated cost of the pollution control facility, device, or method; and

(3) the purpose of the installation of the facility, device, or method, and the proportion of the installation that is pollution control property.

(d) Following submission of the information required by Subsection (c), the executive director of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission shall determine if the facility, device, or method is used wholly or partly as a facility, device, or method for the control of air, water, or land pollution. If the executive director determines that the facility, device, or method is used wholly or partly to control pollution, the director shall issue a letter to the political subdivision stating that determination and the portion of the cost of the installation that is pollution control property.

(e) The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission may charge a political subdivision seeking a determination that property is pollution control property an additional fee not to exceed its administrative costs for processing the information, making the determination, and issuing the letter required by this section. The commission may adopt rules to implement this section.

(f) A political subdivision of the state seeking an adjustment in its rollback tax rate under this section shall provide to its tax assessor a copy of the letter issued by the executive director of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission under Subsection (d). The tax assessor shall accept the copy of the letter from the executive director as conclusive evidence that the facility, device, or method is used wholly or partly as pollution control property and shall adjust the rollback tax rate for the political subdivision as provided for by Subsection (a).

Added by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 1326, ch. 285, Sec. 4.

Cross References:

Current total value, see Sec. 26.012(6).
Maintenance and operations funds, see Sec. 26.012(16).
Pollution control property exemption, see Sec. 11.31.
Rollback tax rate, see Sec. 26.04(c).

Sec. 26.05. Tax Rate.

(a) The governing body of each taxing unit, before the later of September 30 or the 60th day after the date the certified appraisal roll is received by the taxing unit, shall adopt a tax rate for the current tax year and shall notify the assessor for the unit of the rate adopted. The tax rate consists of two components, each of which must be approved separately. The components are:

(1) the rate that, if applied to the total taxable value, will impose the total amount published under Section 26.04(e)(3)(C), less any amount of additional sales and use tax revenue that will be used to pay debt service; and

(2) the rate that, if applied to the total taxable value, will impose the amount of taxes needed to fund maintenance and operation expenditures of the unit for the next year.

(b) A taxing unit may not impose property taxes in any year until the governing body has adopted a tax rate for that year, and the annual tax rate must be set by ordinance, resolution, or order, depending on the method prescribed by law for adoption of a law by the governing body. The vote on the ordinance, resolution, or order setting the tax rate must be separate from the vote adopting the budget.

(c) If the governing body of a taxing unit does not adopt a tax rate before the date required by Subsection (a), the tax rate for the taxing unit for that tax year is the lower of the effective tax rate calculated for that tax year or the tax rate adopted by the taxing unit for the preceding tax year. A tax rate established by this subsection is treated as an adopted tax rate. Before the fifth day after the establishment of a tax rate by this subsection, the governing body of the taxing unit must ratify the applicable tax rate in the manner required by Subsection (b).

(d) The governing body of a taxing unit other than a school district may not adopt a tax rate that exceeds the lower of the rollback tax rate or 103 percent of the effective tax rate calculated as provided by this chapter until the governing body has held a public hearing on the proposed tax rate and has otherwise complied with Section 26.06 and Section 26.065. The governing body of a taxing unit shall reduce a tax rate set by law or by vote of the electorate to the lower of the rollback tax rate or 103 percent of the effective tax rate and may not adopt a higher rate unless it first complies with Section 26.06.

(e) A person who owns taxable property is entitled to an injunction restraining the collection of taxes by a taxing unit in which the property is taxable if the taxing unit has not complied with the requirements of this section and the failure to comply was not in good faith. An action to enjoin the collection of taxes must be filed prior to the date a taxing unit delivers substantially all of its tax bills.

(f) Except as required by the law under which an obligation was created, the governing body may not apply any tax revenues generated by the rate described in Subsection (a)(1) of this section for any purpose other than the retirement of debt.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 164, ch. 13, Sec. 117; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 4994, ch. 657, Sec. 3; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 699, Sec. 2, ch. 947, Sec. 7, and ch. 988, Sec. 2; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws, p. 1522, ch. 404, Sec. 1; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 560, ch. 165, Sec. 29.06 and p. 3910, ch. 1039, Sec. 27; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2511, ch. 398, Sec. 3; p. 2759, ch. 423, Sec. 1; and p. 4596, ch. 1358, Sec. 2.

Cross References:

Notice, hearing, and vote on tax increase, see Sec. 26.06.
Comptroller model notice of public hearing, see Rule Sec. 9.17.
Calculation of effective and rollback tax rates, see Sec. 26.04.
Delivery of tax bills, see Sec. 31.01.
School district budget and proposed tax rate notice, see Section 44.004, Education Code.

Notes:

SB 1420, 70th Leg., 1987, effective June 19, 1987, amends subsection (e) and uses the term "payment" of debt. HB 1866, 70th Leg., 1987, effective January 1, 1988, uses the term "retirement" of debt.

Where a municipal school district annexes territory that belonged to another school district, there is no need for the district to hold an election authorizing taxation within the newly annexed territory. Article VII, Sec. 3-b, Tex. Const., was added to eliminate the need for new voter approval of taxes when authorized changes are made to the boundaries of school districts. Once taxation has been authorized, a change in boundaries has no effect upon the power to tax. Manges v. Freer Independent School District, 677 S.W.2d 490 (Tex. 1984).

The enriched education that a local school district desired to provide students was not the measure for determining if the state was imposing an educational mandate requiring the levy of a state-imposed rate of tax. The controlling factor in reviewing a challenge to an alleged state ad valorem tax is the State's involvement in the levy. West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, et. al v. Alanis, et al, 78 S.W.3d 529 (Tex. App.- Austin 2002, pet. granted). (See 2003 Texas Supreme Court decision in Tax Code Section 11.13 regarding homestead exemptions.)

A taxing unit must specifically mention tax rate adoption in its open meetings notice; failure to do so can be raised as a defense in a delinquent tax lawsuit. Parr v. State, 743 S.W.2d 268 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1987, writ denied).

After adopting a tax rate higher than the rollback rate under Tax Code Section 26.05, a community college district may not voluntarily reduce its adopted tax rate in the same tax year, The only method by which the Tax Code authorizes a community college district to reduce a tax rate that exceeds the rollback rate is an election timely initiated by a valid voter petition. While it may be reasonable as a matter of policy for a taxing unit to consider reducing its tax rate voluntarily, there is no statutory framework for "unwinding" the complex and detailed tax assessment and collection procedures. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-360 (2001).

A hospital district governed by Health and Safety Code Chapter 286 may not hold an election to increase the maximum tax rate that the voters approved in an election to convert from a Chapter 282 hospital district. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-247 (2000).

A county hospital district could legally levy and collect taxes to provide medical services to its indigent citizens, even if it closed its hospital and leased its facilities to a private entity to continue to provide the medical services. The hospital closure did not relieve the district of its obligations to provide medical services to its indigents. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-220 (2000).

A county may not borrow money from the State Infrastructure Bank for road and bridge construction and repay the loan with property taxes levied for that purpose over a term of years without issuing bonds or other obligations evidencing the loan. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0139 (1999).

Section 26.05(d) -- requiring public notice and hearing of intended property tax increases by political subdivisions -- is constitutional. Article VIII, Section 21, is a limitation on the Texas Legislature's full power to levy and to authorize the levy of property taxes as well as a limitation on the taxing authority of political subdivisions. While the Constitution limits the Legislature's power, it does not prohibit the Legislature from enacting laws that provide additional limitations on the power to tax. Tax Code Section 26.05(d) limits local taxation power and requires public notices and a public hearing by a political subdivision regardless of whether the increase includes new improvements or new territory. The Tax Code section requires public notices and hearings in more cases than the Constitution would. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0009 (1999).

In the absence of any protest from taxpayers, taxpayers are deemed to have voluntarily paid a maintenance and operations school tax rate above the rate set by the electorate and are not entitled to a refund. A mistake in law does not excuse a taxpayer from the consequences of voluntary payment of taxes. Unless taxpayers protest under Section 31.115, that is payment of tax under protest, taxpayers are presumed to have paid the taxes voluntarily. Letter Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-98-050 (1998).

The county commissioners court must hold its meetings in the county courthouse as required by Sec. 81.005(c), Local Government Code. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-871 (1988).

Rollback elections are constitutional for hospital districts because the constitution confers the authority to provide for hospital district taxation on the legislature and not directly on the hospital district; Sec. 26.07 does not unconstitutionally suspend Sec. 26.05, which authorizes the setting of a tax rate. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-859 (1988).

School tax rate rollback elections are constitutional because the constitution gives the legislature the authority to pass laws for the assessment and collection of property taxes for school districts; the legislature may delegate to voters the authority to place a one-year limitation on the tax rate adopted. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-835 (1987).

Sec. 26.051. Evidence of Unrecorded Tax Rate Adoption.

(a) If a taxing unit does not make a proper record of the adoption of a tax rate for a year but the tax rate can be determined by examining the tax rolls for that year, the governing body of the taxing unit may take testimony or make other inquiry to determine whether a tax rate was properly adopted for that year. If the governing body determines that a tax rate was properly adopted, it may order that its official records for that year be amended nunc pro tunc to reflect the adoption of the rate.

(b) An amendment of the official records made under Subsection (a) of this section is prima facie evidence that the tax rate entered into the records was properly and regularly adopted for that year.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 181, ch. 2, Sec. 14.01.

Sec. 26.052. Simplified Tax Rate Notice for Taxing Units with Low Tax Levies.

(a) This section applies only to a taxing unit for which the total tax rate proposed for the current tax year:

(1) is 50 cents or less per $100 of taxable value; and

(2) would impose taxes of $500,000 or less when applied to the current total value for the taxing unit.

(b) A taxing unit to which this section applies is exempt from the notice and publication requirements of Section 26.04(e) and is not subject to an injunction under Section 26.04(g) for failure to comply with those requirements.

(c) A taxing unit to which this section applies may provide public notice of its proposed tax rate in either of the following methods not later than the seventh day before the date on which the tax rate is adopted:

(1) mailing a notice of the proposed tax rate to each owner of taxable property in the taxing unit; or

(2) publishing notice of the proposed tax rate in the legal notices section of a newspaper having general circulation in the taxing unit.

(d) A taxing unit that provides public notice of a proposed tax rate under Subsection (c) is exempt from Sections 26.05(d) and 26.06 and is not subject to an injunction under Section 26.05(e) for failure to comply with Section 26.05(d). A taxing unit that provides public notice of a proposed tax rate under Subsection (c) may not adopt a tax rate that exceeds the rate set out in the notice unless the taxing unit provides additional public notice under Subsection (c) of the higher rate or complies with Sections 26.05(d) and 26.06, as applicable, in adopting the higher rate.

(e) Public notice provided under Subsection (c) must specify:

(1) the tax rate that the governing body proposes to adopt;

(2) the date, time, and location of the meeting of the governing body of the taxing unit at which the governing body will consider adopting the proposed tax rate; and

(3) if the proposed tax rate for the taxing unit exceeds the unit's effective tax rate calculated as provided by Section 26.04, a statement substantially identical to the following: "The proposed tax rate would increase total taxes in (name of taxing unit) by (percentage by which the proposed tax rate exceeds the effective tax rate)."

Added by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 168, ch. 81, Sec. 1; repealed by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 3918, ch. 1039, Sec. 28; added by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 1114, ch. 255, Sec. 1.

Cross References:

Public hearing requirement, see art. VIII, Sec. 21, Tex. Const.
Failure to comply, see Sec. 26.05.
Regular notice and publication requirements, see Sec. 26.04.
Regular public hearing and notice requirements, see Sec. 26.06.

Sec. 26.06. Notice, Hearing, and Vote on Tax Increase.

(a) A public hearing required by Section 26.05 may not be held before the seventh day after the date the notice of the public hearing on the proposed tax increase is given. The hearing must be on a weekday that is not a public holiday. The hearing must be held inside the boundaries of the unit in a publicly owned building or, if a suitable publicly owned building is not available, in a suitable building to which the public normally has access. At the hearing, the governing body must afford adequate opportunity for proponents and opponents of the tax increase to present their views.

(b) The notice of a public hearing may not be smaller than one-quarter page of a standard-size or a tabloid-size newspaper, and the headline on the notice must be in 18-point or larger type. The notice must:

(1) contain a statement in the following form:

"NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON TAX INCREASE

"The (name of the taxing unit) will hold a public hearing on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax rate calculated under this chapter) percent. Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted.

"The public hearing will be held on (date and time) at (meeting place).

"(Names of all members of the governing body, showing how each voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase or, if one or more were absent, indicating the absences.)"; and

(2) contain the following information:

(A) the unit's adopted tax rate for the preceding year and the proposed tax rate, expressed as an amount per $100;

(B) the difference, expressed as an amount per $100 and as a percent increase or decrease, as applicable, in the proposed tax rate compared to the adopted tax rate for the preceding year;

(C) the average appraised value of a residence homestead in the taxing unit in the preceding year and in the current year; the unit's homestead exemption, other than an exemption available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older, applicable to that appraised value in each of those years; and the average taxable value of a residence homestead in the unit in each of those years, disregarding any homestead exemption available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older;

(D) the amount of tax that would have been imposed by the unit in the preceding year on a residence homestead appraised at the average appraised value of a residence homestead in that year, disregarding any homestead exemption available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older;

(E) the amount of tax that would be imposed by the unit in the current year on a residence homestead appraised at the average appraised value of a residence homestead in the current year, disregarding any homestead exemption available only to disabled persons or persons 65 years of age or older, if the proposed tax rate is adopted; and

(F) the difference between the amounts of tax calculated under Paragraphs (D) and (E), expressed in dollars and cents and described as the annual increase or decrease, as applicable, in the tax to be imposed by the unit on the average residence homestead in the unit in the current year if the proposed tax rate is adopted.

(c) The notice may be delivered by mail to each property owner in the unit, or it may be published in a newspaper. If the notice is published in a newspaper, it may not be in the part of the paper in which legal notices and classified advertisements appear.

(d) At the public hearing the governing body shall announce the date, time, and place of the meeting at which it will vote on the proposed tax rate. After the hearing the governing body shall give notice of the meeting at which it will vote on the proposed tax rate and the notice shall be in the same form as prescribed by Subsections (b) and (c), except that it must state the following:

"NOTICE OF VOTE ON TAX RATE

"The (name of the taxing unit) conducted a public hearing on a proposal to increase the total tax revenues of the (name of the taxing unit) from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax rate calculated under this chapter) percent on (date and time public hearing was conducted).

"The (governing body of the taxing unit) is scheduled to vote on the tax rate that will result in that tax increase at a public meeting to be held on (date and time) at (meeting place)."

(e) The meeting to vote on the tax increase may not be earlier than the third day or later than the 14th day after the date of the public hearing. The meeting must be held inside the boundaries of the taxing unit in a publicly owned building or, if a suitable publicly owned building is not available, in a suitable building to which the public normally has access. If the governing body does not adopt a tax rate that exceeds the lower of the rollback tax rate or 103 percent of the effective tax rate by the 14th day, it must give a new notice under Subsection (d) before it may adopt a rate that exceeds the lower of the rollback tax rate or 103 percent of the effective tax rate.

(f) The comptroller by rule shall prescribe the language and format to be used in the part of the notice required by Subsection (b)(2). A notice under Subsection(b) is not valid if it does not substantially conform to the language and format prescribed by the comptroller under this subsection.

(g) This section does not apply to a school district. A school district shall provide notice of a public hearing on a tax increase as required by Section 44.004, Education Code.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 164, ch. 13, Sec. 118; amended by 1983 Tex. Laws, p. 5464, ch. 1029, Sec. 1; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws, p. 4995, ch. 657, Sec. 4; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 30, ch. 1, Sec. 3; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 456, Sec. 1 and ch. 947, Sec. 8; amended by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4005, ch. 940, Sec. 1; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 36, ch. 6, Sec. 46; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 560, ch. 165, Sec. 29.07, and p. 3910, ch. 1039, Secs. 28 and 29; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 2511, ch. 398, Sec. 4 and p. 4596, ch. 1358, Sec. 3.

Cross References:

Public hearing requirement, see art. VIII, Sec. 21, Tex. Const.
Failure to comply, see Sec. 26.05.
Public hearing ad, see Rule Sec. 9.17.
School district notice of public hearing, see Section 44.004, Education Code.

Notes:

HB 328, 70th Leg., 1987, effective August 31, 1987, amended subsection (b) to provide for more information on the notice of public hearing for a tax increase than required by the amendment to this subsection by HB 1866, 70th Leg., 1987, effective January 1, 1988.

A taxpayer or taxpayer group must present evidence that the debt calculations in the effective rate calculation do not accurately represent the actual bonded indebtedness of a taxing unit in challenging the accuracy of the effective rate calculation. Corpus Christi Taxpayer's Association v. City of Corpus Christi, 716 S.W.2d 578 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.).

To be a newspaper of general circulation for the purpose of publishing legal notices, a newspaper must have more than a de minimis number of subscribers within a particular geographic region; must have a diverse subscribership; and must contain some news, editorials, and advertisements of a general character and interest to the community. Government Code Section 2051.044 lists four criteria of a newspaper in which a notice may be published. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-223 (2000).

Sec. 26.065. Supplemental Notice of Hearing on Tax Rate Increase.

(a) In addition to the notice required under Section 26.06, the governing body of a taxing unit required to hold a public hearing by Section 26.05(d) shall give notice of the hearing in the manner provided by this section.

(b) If the taxing unit owns, operates, or controls an Internet website, the unit shall post notice of the public hearing on the website continuously for at least seven days immediately before the public hearing on the proposed tax rate increase and at least seven days immediately before the date of the vote proposing the increase in the tax rate.

(c) If the taxing unit has free access to a television channel, the taxing unit shall request that the station carry a 60-second notice of the public hearing at least five times a day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. for at least seven days immediately before the public hearing on the proposed tax rate increase and at least seven days immediately before the date of the vote proposing the increase in the tax rate.

(d) The notice of the public hearing required by Subsection (b) must contain a statement that is substantially the same as the statement required by Section 26.06(b)(1) and must contain information that is substantially the same as the information required by Section 26.06(b)(2).

(e) This section does not apply to a taxing unit if the taxing unit:

(1) is unable to comply with the requirements of this section because of the failure of an electronic or mechanical device, including a computer or server; or

(2) is unable to comply with the requirements of this section due to other circumstances beyond its control.

(f) A person who owns taxable property is not entitled to an injunction restraining the collection of taxes by a taxing unit in which the property is taxable if the taxing unit has, in good faith, attempted to comply with the requirements of this section.

Added by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 4598, ch. 1358, Sec. 5.

Cross References:

Public hearing requirement, see art. VIII, Sec. 21, Tex. Const.
Failure to comply, see Sec. 26.05.
Public hearing ad, see Rule Sec. 9.17.
School district notice of public hearing, see Section 44.004, Education Code.

Sec. 26.07. Election To Repeal Increase.

(a) If the governing body of a taxing unit other than a school district adopts a tax rate that exceeds the rollback tax rate calculated as provided by this chapter, the qualified voters of the taxing unit by petition may require that an election be held to determine whether or not to reduce the tax rate adopted for the current year to the rollback tax rate calculated as provided by this chapter.

(b) A petition is valid only if:

(1) it states that it is intended to require an election in the taxing unit on the question of reducing the tax rate for the current year;

(2) it is signed by a number of registered voters of the taxing unit equal to at least 10 percent of the number of registered voters of the taxing unit according to the most recent official list of registered voters; and

(3) it is submitted to the governing body on or before the 90th day after the date on which the governing body adopted the tax rate for the current year.

(c) Not later than the 20th day after the day a petition is submitted, the governing body shall determine whether or not the petition is valid and pass a resolution stating its finding. If the governing body fails to act within the time allowed, the petition is treated as if it had been found valid.

(d) If the governing body finds that the petition is valid (or fails to act within the time allowed), it shall order that an election be held in the taxing unit on a date not less than 30 or more than 90 days after the last day on which it could have acted to approve or disapprove the petition. A state law requiring local elections to be held on a specified date does not apply to the election unless a specified date falls within the time permitted by this section. At the election, the ballots shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "Reducing the tax rate in (name of taxing unit) for the current year from (the rate adopted) to (the rollback tax rate calculated as provided by this chapter)."

(e) If a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question in the election favor the proposition, the tax rate for the taxing unit for the current year is the rollback tax rate calculated as provided by this chapter; otherwise, the tax rate for the current year is the one adopted by the governing body.

(f) If the tax rate is reduced by an election called under this section after tax bills for the unit are mailed, the assessor for the unit shall prepare and mail corrected tax bills. He shall include with the bill a brief explanation of the reason for and effect of the corrected bill. The date on which the taxes become delinquent for the year is extended by a number of days equal to the number of days between the date the first tax bills were sent and the date the corrected tax bills were sent.

(g) If a property owner pays taxes calculated using the higher tax rate when the rate is reduced by an election called under this section, the taxing unit shall refund the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced rate if the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced rate is $1 or more. If the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the reduced rate is less than $1, the taxing unit shall refund the difference on request of the taxpayer. An application for a refund of less than $1 must be made within 90 days after the date the refund becomes due or the taxpayer forfeits the right to the refund.

(h) - (j) Expired in 1989.

Amended by 1981 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 165, ch. 13, Sec. 119; amended by 1985 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), p. 29, ch. 1, Sec. 3; amended by 1987 Tex. Laws, ch. 457, Sec. 13 and ch. 947, Sec. 9; amended by 1993 Tex. Laws, p. 2863, ch. 728, Sec. 84, and by p. 1387, ch. 292, Sec. 1; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 561, ch. 165, Sec. 29.08.

Cross References:

Tax bills generally, see Sec. 31.01.
Correction of tax roll, see Sec. 26.15.
Delinquency date, see Sec. 31.02.
Payment of interest on refunds, see Sec. 31.12.
Refunds become due, see Sec. 31.12.

Notes:

Without reference to HB 344, 70th Leg., 1987, effective September 1, 1987, subsection (h) only was deleted by HB 1866, 70th Leg., 1987, effective January 1, 1988.

HB 1866, 70th Leg., 1987, effective January 1, 1988, provides that a taxing unit that adopted an additional sales and use tax before the effective date of this bill calculates its 1988 effective and rollback tax rates following the formulas in Sec. 26.041(a), Tax Code.

Section 26.07, Tax Code, is constitutional as applied to counties. This section does not contravene art. VIII, Sec. 1-a, or art. VIII, Sec. 9. Vinson v. Burgess, Winborne v. Commissioners Court of Ellis County, 733 S.W.2d 263 (Tex. 1989).

A rollback petition that does not include dates of birth may still be valid if other information allows verification. Withers v. Commissioners' Court of Bandera County, 75S.W.3d 528(Tex. App.-San Antonio 2002, rehearing denied).

A finding of a commissioners' court that a tax rate rollback petition was invalid on grounds other than those listed in Sec. 26.07, Tax Code, did not relieve a citizen/petitioner from the burden of proving that the rollback petition was valid. Parker v. White, 852 S.W.2d 748 (Tex. App.-Tyler 1993, no writ).

Rollback of taxes is constitutional as applied to counties. Winborne v. Commissioners Court of Ellis County, 757 S.W.2d 876 (Tex. App.-Waco 1988, affirmed).

Section 26.07, Property Tax Code, violates the provisions of art. VIII, Secs. 1-a and 9, Tex. Const., and is unconstitutional with respect to counties. Vinson v. Burgess, 755 S.W.2d 481 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1988, reversed).

The courts cannot interrupt the rollback election process once it has begun; absentee voting establishes that the election process has started. Port Isabel/South Padre Island Taxpayers Association v. South Padre Island, 721 S.W.2d 405 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1986, no writ).

Rollback elections are constitutional for hospital districts because the constitution confers the authority to provide for hospital district taxation on the legislature rather than directly on the hospital district; Sec. 26.07 does not unconstitutionally suspend Sec. 26.05, which authorizes the setting of a tax rate. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-859 (1988).

Section 26.07 is unconstitutional to the extent that it limits the authority of a county commissioners court under art. VIII, Secs. 1-a and 9, Tex. Const., to set tax rate general fund, farm-to-market flood control, or public road maintenance taxes. These tax rates may not be rolled back. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-792 (1987).

The county assessor calculates the effective tax rate for each of the county's funds and adds them together for the county's total effective rate; the county must exceed eight percent of the total county effective rate, not one of its components, before local voters can invoke the tax rate rollback provisions; and, the county is not required to apportion any tax increase among the funds. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-677 (1987).

The county commissioners are not authorized to accept a rollback election petition unless the rate adopted exceeds the effective tax rate by more than eight percent, plus the amount necessary for indigent health care costs specifically protected by statute from such rollback; and, the assessor is not empowered to recalculate the effective tax rate for any inaccuracy after the tax plan is in effect, unless a taxpayer timely files an injunction. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-641 (1987).

A petition for a tax rollback election that consists in part of copies of signatures comprising a previously submitted and rejected petition does not comport with the requirement that such petition be signed by a requisite number of voters. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-574 (1986).

Where a taxing unit adopts a tax rate that includes a component for providing services required by the Indigent Health Care and Treatment Act, and a successful election under Sec. 26.07 reduces the adopted rate, the new rate is set at eight percent over the effective rate plus the additional percentage attributable to the required health care costs. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JM-528 (1986).

The most recent official list of qualified voters in Secs. 26.07 and 26.08, Tax Code, means the current and up-to-date list of all voters who reside in the taxing unit and whose registrations are effective on or before the date upon which the petition is submitted for the consideration of the governing body; the Texas Election Code requires each voter registrar to provide a taxing unit holding an election with an appropriate list of registered voters that will be current on the date of the election. Op. Election Law JWF-10 (1983).