NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW LAWS
On January 1, 2012, new laws passed during the 82nd Regular Legislative Session will go in to effect for the first time. These new laws range from bills addressing property tax exemptions to regulation of metal recycling entities. Each of the bills that will take effect on January 1 went through a 140 day legislative session. During that 140 day period, these bills went before House and Senate Committees before going before the Texas House and Senate as a whole.
The laws mentioned below represent some of those pieces of legislation that passed and will go into effect on January 1:
- House Bill (HB) 252 Section 2 allows an applicant to qualify a manufactured home as a residence homestead when claiming a property tax exemption by submitting, as an alternative form of documentation, a sworn affidavit stating that the applicant is the owner of the home, the seller did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract, and the applicant tried but could not locate the seller. The bill bases the qualification of the land on which a manufactured home is located for a property tax exemption on the applicant’s ownership of the land and occupation of the manufactured home as the applicant’s principal residence and the applicant’s demonstration or the appraisal district’s determination of such ownership and requires a chief appraiser to apportion an exemption for land and a manufactured home listed separately on the tax roll on a pro rata basis based on their respective appraised values.
- (HB) 1228 takes effect on January 1 except for Section 209.0092 which took effect on September 1. HB 1228 amends the Property Code to require a property owners’ association composed of more than 14 lots to adopt reasonable guidelines to establish an alternative payment schedule by which an owner may make partial payments to the association for delinquent regular or special assessments or any other amount owed to the association without accruing additional monetary penalties. The association is required to file the guidelines in the real property records of each county in which the subdivision is located, and certain associations are exempted from those requirements. In addition, HB 1228 requires a payment received by an association from the owner to be applied to the owner’s debt in a specified order of priority unless the owner is in default under a payment plan entered into with the association, in which case a fine assessed by the association may not be given priority over any other amount owed to the association. The bill restricts an association’s authority with regard to third-party collections and specifies that an owner is not liable for fees of a collection agent retained by the association under certain circumstances.
- Senate Bill 1330 Section 1 authorizes a judge to require a defendant younger than 25 years of age receiving deferred disposition for certain traffic offenses to complete an additional driving safety course designed for drivers younger than 25 years of age.
Each of these laws goes in to effect, or has sections which go in to effect on January 1, 2012. It is important to learn and know about the new laws that were passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature. If you would like to view any of the other legislation that was passed during the 82nd Regular Session and the first called special session on your own, these websites are great resources:
- The Texas Legislature at www.capitol.state.tx.us .
- The Texas House of Representatives at www.house.state.tx.us .
- The Texas Senate at www.senate.state.tx.us .
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Aransas, Calhoun, Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.