Immediate Action Required: House Ways and Means Action

Good morning, Superintendents.

Today the House Ways and Means Committee will hear two different bills regarding 313s.  You received a message on Friday encouraging you to call your Representative’s office.  I hope most of you were able to do that.   If you were not, it’s not too late.  The bills will be heard Monday some time after 10:00 a.m.

Today I am encouraging you to communicate with your Representative through the portal to the Ways and Means Committee.  If you click on the link, it will take you to the Comments portal for the committee meeting on Monday.  Fill out the information at the top of the form and click on the bills on which you wish to comment.  PLEASE DO THIS FIRST THING TODAY.  Again, it will take a couple minutes of your time but could mean millions of dollars for your district.

HB 1502 (Deshotel) – Good bill.  It simply extends Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code through 2032.  Everything about the agreements stays the same.

HB 1556 (Murphy) – Very problematic.  It does away with Revenue Protection Payments, Supplemental Payments, and Application fees. That will mean millions in savings for the applicant with little benefit to the district or the state.  It also means that if you want to consider a 313 Agreement, the district must pay for their own attorney and financial analysis instead of the applicant funding these necessities.   Currently that cost is usually between $50,000-$75,000. The bill hopes superintendents and boards will enter into these complex negotiations without information, representation, and guidance from anyone.  That scenario is unlikely to result in good outcomes for school districts.  It’s a bad bill and will likely end the era of 313 Agreements for economic development in Texas.    Let them hear from you!