P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2003
AUSTIN -- Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today filed legislation redefining the role of county development districts and adding safeguards to prevent these special taxing authorities from being misused.
"There is far too much gray area in the law with regard to county development districts and other special purpose taxing districts. Each time the Legislature passes reforms, they morph into something different," Senator Nelson said. "I do not take issue with a community creating a special taxing authority. However, decisions involving public tax dollars need to be made by representatives of the taxpayers -- not representatives of the developer. We have been through this session after session, yet blatant abuses of the law persist. This legislation clearly defines what is unacceptable, and hopefully that will get our message through that you must work with the taxpayers -- not around them."
The following bills, filed today by Senator Nelson, reflect recommendations of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations' interim study into the use of special taxing districts in Texas. The study was initiated at the request of Senator Nelson.
Senate Bill 419: Revokes the authority of county development districts to levy a property tax and clarifies that CDDs may only be used for attracting tourism.
Senate Bill 420: prohibits the creation of CDDs in a city's extraterritorial jurisdiction without permission of the municipality; enacts conflict-of-interest provisions for board directors; strengthens public notice requirements; requires that CDDs disclose financial records.