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Title 3. Local Taxation
Subtitle B. Special Property Tax Provisions

Chapter 312. Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Sec. 312.001. Short Title.
Sec. 312.002. Eligibility of Taxing Unit to Participate in Tax Abatement.
Sec. 312.0025. Designation of Reinvestment Zone by School District.
Sec. 312.003. Confidentiality of Proprietary Information.
Sec. 312.004. Taxing Unit with Tax Rate Set by Commissioners Court.
Sec. 312.005. State Administration.
Sec. 312.006. Review by Sunset Advisory Commission.

[Sections 312.007 to 312.200 reserved for expansion]

Sec. 312.001. Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act.

Cross References:
Property exempt from taxation, see Sec. 11.28.
Exemption application required, see Sec. 11.43(a).
Exemption application form, see Rule Sec. 9.403.
Constitutional authorization, see art. VIII, Sec. 1-g, Tex. Const.

Notes:
A tax abatement agreement under Tax Code Chapter 312 may not exceed 10 years. A taxing entity may not grant a tax abatement for property that previously received a 10-year tax abatement. To receive more than 10 years of tax abatement, an agreement must have been made prior to September 1, 1989. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0133 (1999).

Tax Code Chapter 312 neither precludes nor authorizes a commissioners court agreement to pay county funds to a private company that are equivalent of an abatement of real property taxes. Local Government Code Section 381.004 neither expressly nor impliedly authorizes a commissioners court to enter into such an agreement. The legislature history indicates that the legislature did not intend that Section 381.004 authorize county economic development loans and grants. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. JC-0092 (1999).

Sec. 312.002. Eligibility of Taxing Unit to Participate in Tax Abatement.

(a) A taxing unit may not enter into a tax abatement agreement under this chapter and the governing body of a municipality or county may not designate an area as a reinvestment zone unless the governing body has established guidelines and criteria governing tax abatement agreements by the taxing unit and a resolution stating that the taxing unit elects to become eligible to participate in tax abatement. The guidelines applicable to property other than property described by Section 312.211(a) must provide for the availability of tax abatement for both new facilities and structures and for the expansion or modernization of existing facilities and structures.

(b) The governing body of a taxing unit may not enter into a tax abatement agreement under this chapter unless it finds that the terms of the agreement and the property subject to the agreement meet the applicable guidelines and criteria adopted by the governing body under this section.

(c) The guidelines and criteria adopted under this section are effective for two years from the date adopted. During that period, the guidelines and criteria may be amended or repealed only by a vote of three-fourths of the members of the governing body.

(d) The adoption of the guidelines and criteria by the governing body of a taxing unit does not:

(1) limit the discretion of the governing body to decide whether to enter into a specific tax abatement agreement;

(2) limit the discretion of the governing body to delegate to its employees the authority to determine whether or not the governing body should consider a particular application or request for tax abatement; or

(3) create any property, contract, or other legal right in any person to have the governing body consider or grant a specific application or request for tax abatement.

(e) The guidelines and criteria adopted by the commissioners court of a county may include a requirement that an application or request for tax abatement submitted to the county under this chapter must be accompanied by a reasonable application fee not to exceed $1,000.

(f) On or after September 1, 2001, a school district may not enter into a tax abatement agreement under this chapter.

(g) "Taxing unit" has the meaning assigned by Section 1.04, except that for a tax abatement agreement executed on or after September 1, 2001, the term does not include a school district that is subject to Chapter 42, Education Code, and that is organized primarily to provide general elementary and secondary public education.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, 14.07(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1137, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 20, 22, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 391, 26, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 836, 9.2, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, 4.13(2), eff. May 31, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 855, 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1333, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1029, 3, eff. June 15, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1145, 1, eff. June 15, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, 2(124), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Note:
A county is not authorized to amend a Property Tax Code Chapter 312 tax abatement agreement by deleting land from an existing reinvestment zone. A county reinvestment zone under Chapter 312 must be contiguous and may not consist of only a portion of a building. The Legislature intended to leave the substance of criteria for tax abatement agreements to the county commissioners court's discretion, subject to general constraints and certain specific limitations imposed by Chapter 312. Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. No. DM-456 (1997).

Sec. 312.0025. Designation of Reinvestment Zone by School District.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, the governing body of a school district, in the manner required for official action and for purposes of Subchapter B or C, Chapter 313, may designate an area entirely within the territory of the school district as a reinvestment zone if the governing body finds that, as a result of the designation and the granting of a limitation on appraised value under Subchapter B or C, Chapter 313, for property located in the reinvestment zone, the designation is reasonably likely to:

(1) contribute to the expansion of primary employment in the reinvestment zone; or

(2) attract major investment in the reinvestment zone that would:

(A) be a benefit to property in the reinvestment zone and to the school district; and

(B) contribute to the economic development of the region of this state in which the school district is located.

(b) The governing body of the school district may seek the recommendation of the commissioners court of each county and the governing body of each municipality that has territory in the school district before designating an area as a reinvestment zone under Subsection (a).

Added by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 5069, ch. 1505, Sec. 4.

Sec. 312.003. Confidentiality of Proprietary Information.

Information that is provided to a taxing unit in connection with an application or request for tax abatement under this chapter and that describes the specific processes or business activities to be conducted or the equipment or other property to be located on the property for which tax abatement is sought is confidential and not subject to public disclosure until the tax abatement agreement is executed. That information in the custody of a taxing unit after the agreement is executed is not confidential under this section.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4684, ch. 1137, Sec. 2.

Sec. 312.004. Taxing Unit with Tax Rate Set by Commissioners Court.

(a) The commissioners court of a county that enters into a tax abatement agreement for the county may enter into a tax abatement agreement applicable to the same property on behalf of a taxing unit other than the county if by statute the ad valorem tax rate of the other taxing unit is approved by the commissioners court or the commissioners court is expressly required by statute to levy the ad valorem taxes of the other taxing unit. The tax abatement agreement entered into on behalf of the other taxing unit is not required to contain the same terms as the tax abatement agreement entered into on behalf of the county.

(b) This section does not apply to a taxing unit because the county tax assessor-collector is required by law to assess or collect the unit's ad valorem taxes.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4684, ch. 1137, Sec. 30; amended by 1999 Tex. Laws, p. 3834, ch. 1039, Sec. 1.

Sec. 312.005. State Administration.

(a) The comptroller shall maintain a central registry of reinvestment zones designated under this chapter and of ad valorem tax abatement agreements executed under this chapter. The chief appraiser of each appraisal district that appraises property for a taxing unit that has designated a reinvestment zone or executed a tax abatement agreement under this chapter shall deliver to the comptroller before July 1 of the year following the year in which the zone is designated or the agreement is executed a report providing the following information:

(1) for a reinvestment zone, a general description of the zone, including its size, the types of property located in it, its duration, and the guidelines and criteria established for the reinvestment zone under Section 312.002, including subsequent amendments and modifications of the guidelines or criteria;

(2) a copy of each tax abatement agreement to which a taxing unit that participates in the appraisal district is a party; and

(3) any other information required by the comptroller to administer this section and Subchapter F, Chapter 111.

(b) The comptroller may provide assistance to a taxing unit on request of its governing body or the presiding officer of its governing body relating to the administration of this chapter. The Texas Department of Commerce and the comptroller may provide technical assistance to a local governing body regarding the designation of reinvestment zones, the adoption of tax abatement guidelines, and the execution of tax abatement agreements.

(c) Not later than December 31 of each even‑numbered year, the comptroller shall submit a report to the legislature and to the governor on reinvestment zones designated under this chapter and on tax abatement agreements adopted under this chapter, including a summary of the information reported under this section.

Amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (2nd C.S.), p. 39, ch. 6, Sec. 59; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 4992, ch. 995, Sec. 2; amended by 1997 Tex. Laws, p. 5185, ch. 1382, Sec. 1; amended by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 487, ch. 268, Sec. 4 and by p. 2155, ch. 1029, Sec. 2.

Sec. 312.006. Review by Sunset Advisory Commission.

Text of section as amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1029, 1

If not continued in effect, this chapter expires September 1, 2009.

Text of section amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1505, 5

If not continued in effect, this chapter expires September 1, 2005.

Added by 1989 Tex. Laws, p. 4684, ch. 1137, Sec. 4; amended by 1991 Tex. Laws (1st C.S.), ch. 17, Sec. 2.16; amended by 1995 Tex. Laws, p. 4992, ch. 995, Sec. 4; amended by 2001 Tex. Laws, p. 5070, ch. 1505, Sec. 5 and p. 2155, ch. 1029, Sec. 1.

[Sections 312.007 to 312.200 reserved for expansion]