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  80R2863 T
 
  By: Brimer S.B. No. 1266
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to pass-through financing and the creation and operation
of the Transportation Reinvestment Fund.
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
       SECTION 1.  The heading to Section 222.104, Transportation
Code, is amended to read as follows:
       Sec. 222.104.  PASS-THROUGH [TOLLS] FINANCING.
       SECTION 2.  Subchapter E, Chapter 222, Transportation Code,
is amended by adding Section 222.105 to read as follows:
       Sec. 222.105.  CREATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION REINVESTMENT
FUND.  (a)  The Transportation Reinvestment Fund is an account in
the state treasury.
       (b)  The fund is administered by the comptroller for the
benefit of the plan established under section 222.106 of this
chapter.  The fund is exempt from the application of Section
403.095, Government Code. Interest earned on the fund shall be
credited to the fund.
       (c)  The fund consists of revenue collected under Section
222.106 of this chapter. Any revenue deposited to this account
shall be limited to use in the geographic regions described in
Sections 222.106 and 222.107 for the sole purpose of providing
funding for projects authorized under Section 222.104 as determined
by the department.
       SECTION 3.  Subchapter E, Chapter 222, Transportation Code,
is amended by adding Section 222.106 to read as follows:
       Sec. 222.106.  CREATION OF TRANSPORTATION REINVESTMENT
ZONES BY A MUNICIPALITY.  (a)  The governing body of a municipality
which has entered into a pass-through toll agreement with the
department may by ordinance designate a contiguous geographic area
within its jurisdiction to be a Transportation Reinvestment Zone to
promote transportation projects authorized under Section 222.104
which cultivate development or redevelopment of an area the
governing body determines to be unproductive, underdeveloped, or
blighted. In making this determination the governing body of the
municipality may utilize the criteria defined in Tax Code Section
311.005(a) or may utilize its own criteria that reasonably support
a finding that an area is unproductive, underdeveloped, or
blighted.
       (b)  Not later than the seventh day before the adoption of
the ordinance referred to in subsection (a), the governing body of
the municipality must hold a public hearing on the creation of the
zone and its benefits to the municipality and to property in the
proposed zone. Notice of the public hearing must be published in a
newspaper of general circulation in the municipality not later than
the seventh day before the public hearing. Designation of an area
as a Transportation Reinvestment Zone by adoption of an ordinance
constitutes designation of the area as a reinvestment zone under
Chapters 311 and 312, Tax Code, without further hearings or
procedural requirements.
       (c)  For property located within a Transportation
Reinvestment Zone the municipality may determine the increase in
assessed property value resulting from the transportation project
developed through a pass-through financing agreement with the
department under Section 222.104.
       (d)  A municipality may, by affirmative vote of its governing
body, dedicate the tax increment to reimburse up to fifty percent of
the aggregate amount of pass-through toll payments made by the
department to the municipality pursuant to an agreement under
Section 222.104.  All reimbursements collected under this section
must be deposited to the credit of the Transportation Reinvestment
Fund to be used only for purposes identified in Section 222.105 and
only within the department district where the zone is located.  The
maximum duration for the existence of a zone created hereunder
shall be for a term of years from the date of the ordinance creating
the zone until the obligation to reimburse the department pursuant
to an agreement under Section 222.104 has been satisfied.
       SECTION 4.  Subchapter E, Chapter 222, Transportation Code,
is amended by adding Section 222.107 to read as follows:
       Sec. 222.107.  TAX ABATEMENTS AND RELATED ACTIONS OF A
COUNTY.  (a)  The commissioners court of a county which has entered
into a pass-through financing agreement with the department may by
ordinance or other official action designate a contiguous
geographic area within its jurisdiction to be a Transportation
Reinvestment Zone within which certain ad valorem taxes may be
abated to promote transportation projects authorized under sec.
222.104 which encourage development or redevelopment and
improvement of the property.
       (b)  Not later than the seventh day before the adoption of
the ordinance or other official action referred to in subsection
(a), the commissioners court must hold a public hearing on the
creation of the zone, the abatement of taxes, and benefits to the
county and to property in the proposed zone. Notice of the public
hearing must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in
the county not later than the seventh day before the public hearing
and must be delivered in writing to the presiding officer of the
governing body of each taxing unit that includes in its boundaries
property to be located in the zone.  Notice is deemed delivered when
mailed. Designation of an area as a Transportation Reinvestment
Zone by adoption of an ordinance or other official action
constitutes designation of the area as a reinvestment zone under
Chapters 311 and 312, Tax Code, without further hearings or
procedural requirements. Notice of the adoption of an ordinance or
other official action regarding an abatement of taxes must be
delivered in writing to the presiding officer of the governing body
of each taxing unit that includes in its boundaries property to be
located in the zone.  Notice is deemed delivered when mailed.
       (c)  For property within a Transportation Reinvestment Zone
a county may determine the increase in assessed property value
resulting from the transportation project developed through a
pass-through financing agreement with the department, and may agree
to abate a portion of the increment of ad valorem taxes attributable
to the increased value.
       (d)  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, including
without limitation Tax Code, Chapter 312, an agreement to abate
taxes within a zone created under this section does not require a
separate agreement with each property owner. The abatement of
taxes may last no longer than the period required for a road utility
district to satisfy any obligation to reimburse the department for
a portion of the pass-through financing provided to the county
under an agreement under Section 222.104.
       (e)  In order to assist a county in satisfying its
obligations under a pass-through financing agreement with the
department under Section 222.104 a road utility district may be
formed under Transportation Code Chapter 441 with the same
geographic boundaries as a zone created under this section.
       (f)  A road utility district formed with the same geographic
boundaries as a zone created under this section may impose a tax on
property within the zone at a rate which does not exceed the amount
of ad valorem taxes abated under an agreement of the county under
subsection (c).
       (g)  A road utility district formed for the purpose set forth
in subsection (e) may assume the obligations, if any, of a county to
make payments to the department to reimburse up to fifty percent of
funding provided to the county under a pass-through financing
agreement. Such payments shall be considered an operating expense
of the district. All reimbursement payments received by the
department under this section must be deposited to the credit to the
Transportation Reinvestment Fund to be used within the department
district where the zone is located for any purpose identified in
Section 222.105. The obligation to make such payments shall cease
when the amount to be reimbursed to the department has been paid or,
if sooner, when the period of the abatement under subsection (d)
terminates.
       SECTION 5.  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, 2007.