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Texas Municipal League

Friday, May 05, 2017

TML: The Three Most Serious Threats to Texas Cities

The Texas Municipal League has identified three bills in the final weeks of the legislative session that represent the most serious threats to Texas cities:

• Revenue caps, SB 2 – The bill would impose state limitations on the budgets of every city and county threatening funding for public safety, economic development and transportation while producing no noticeable tax relief for homeowners.  The bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Ways and Means Committee.

• Ending annexation, SB 715/HB 424 – The bills would effectively end 100 years of municipal annexation in Texas and freeze the current boundaries of cities by giving unincorporated areas the power to veto city annexation plans.  SB 715 passed the Senate on April 24, 2017 and HB 424 is pending in the House Calendars Committee.

• Overriding city rules and fees on private use of public property, SB 1004/HB 2838 – Giant telecom companies want the Legislature to nullify agreements and fees they have negotiated with cities about placing equipment on city sidewalks, light poles, traffic lights and signs.  The bill’s limit on fees would grant the companies unrestricted access to public property at a small fraction of its value resulting in the loss of more than $600 million in annual revenue to cities and a taxpayer funded windfall for the companies.  The bill passed the Senate on April 6, 2017 and is pending in the House State Affairs Committee.

“These bills seriously threaten the financial stability of Texas cities and will result in the rapid deterioration of public safety and the quality of life for the 21 million Texans who live in our cities,” said Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal League.  “We are urging legislators to end this unprecedented assault on the future of the neighborhoods and communities of our urban areas.”

Remembering Jim Guidry GRCC Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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