By:  Gallego                                                      H.B. No. 3272

relating to the creation of a port of entry authority by certain counties; authorizing a tax and the issuance of bonds. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subtitle B, Title 12, Local Government Code, is amended by adding Chapter 388 to read as follows:
Sec. 388.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (1) "Authority" means the port of entry authority created under this chapter. (2) "Board" means the board of directors of the authority. (3) "Commissioners court" means the commissioners court of the county that created the authority. Sec. 388.002. CREATION OF AUTHORITY. The commissioners court of a county with a population of less than 15,000 that is adjacent to an international boundary and contains a class A port of entry may create a port of entry authority. Sec. 388.003. JURISDICTION. The jurisdiction of the authority is coextensive with the jurisdiction of the county creating the authority.
[Sections 388.004-388.050 reserved for expansion]
Sec. 388.051. GOVERNING BODY. An authority is governed by a board of five directors. Sec. 388.052. QUALIFICATIONS; APPOINTMENT. (a) A director shall reside in the county that created the authority. (b) The commissioners court shall appoint the directors as follows: (1) one director who represents United States customs brokers; (2) one director who represents freight forwarders; (3) one director who represents the transportation industry; (4) one director who is an international banker; and (5) one director who represents the public. (c) In appointing the initial board, the commissioners court shall appoint two directors to serve until February 1 of the year following the year the authority is created. Sec. 388.053. TERMS. Directors serve staggered two-year terms, with the terms of three directors expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year and the terms of two directors expiring February 1 of each even-numbered year. Sec. 388.054. VACANCY; REMOVAL. (a) The commissioners court shall promptly fill a vacancy that occurs more than 60 days before the expiration of a term by appointing a person who has the qualifications of the director creating the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. (b) The commissioners court may remove a director for cause, after a hearing, by a two-thirds vote. Sec. 388.055. OFFICERS. The board shall select from among the directors a presiding officer, assistant presiding officer, treasurer, and other officers that the board considers appropriate. Sec. 388.056. COMPENSATION. A director may not receive compensation for services as a director but is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of duties as a director.
[Sections 388.057-388.100 reserved for expansion]
Sec. 388.101. FEES. The authority shall establish and collect rental fees, tolls, and other appropriate fees from operators of commercial vehicles for entering the authority by an international bridge and for using any other facility designated by the county. Sec. 388.102. INFRASTRUCTURE; INTERNATIONAL TRADE. The authority shall use the money collected under this chapter, as the board determines appropriate, to develop and promote infrastructure and international trade. Sec. 388.103. EMPLOYEES. The authority may employ persons necessary to perform an authority function. Sec. 388.104. APPROVAL OF COMMISSIONERS COURT REQUIRED. (a) The authority must obtain the approval of the commissioners court before any expenditure of money. (b) Not later than the 15th day after the date on which the authority or board acts, the commissioners court may approve or disapprove the action. If the commissioners court disapproves the action, the action is ineffective. Otherwise, the action becomes effective on the date that the commissioners court approves the action or on the 15th day after the date on which the authority or board acted, whichever is earlier.
[Sections 388.105-388.150 reserved for expansion]
Sec. 388.151. AD VALOREM TAX; BONDS; COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR. (a) If approved at an election held in the authority for that purpose, the authority may impose an ad valorem tax on property in the district and issue bonds payable from the proceeds of the tax. (b) The county tax assessor-collector shall assess and collect taxes for the authority. Sec. 388.152. MANAGEMENT OF MONEY. The authority's treasurer shall deposit money collected by the authority in a separate account in a bank or trust company. The money may be paid out on the warrant or other order of the presiding officer of the board or another person designated by the authority. Sec. 388.153. AUDIT. (a) At least once a year the authority shall hire a certified public accountant to conduct an audit of its books, accounts, and records. The authority shall deliver a copy of the audit to the commissioners court. (b) If the audit does not occur as required under Subsection (a), a person designated by the commissioners court may examine, at the expense of the authority, the accounts and books of the authority, including its receipts, disbursements, contracts, leases, investments, and other matters relating to its finances, operation, and affairs.
[Sections 388.154-388.200 reserved for expansion]
Sec. 388.201. DISSOLUTION. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the commissioners court may dissolve an authority at any time. (b) An authority may not be dissolved if the authority has outstanding bonded indebtedness. (c) On dissolution of the authority, the county shall assume the assets and liabilities of the authority. SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2003.