Governor Greg Abbott called the Texas Legislature into a 30-day special on July 18, 2017. The governor has added 20 issues to the special session call, five of which have potential impacts on ICSC members. 

Property tax reform
Bills/Status:
SB 1, the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017, passed the Senate on July 26, 2017. HB 3, which reforms the appraisal appeal process and strengthens taxpayer rights and information; and HB 4, which reduces the rollback rate from 8 percent to 5 percent, were heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on July 25, 2017 and were left pending.

Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
Bills/Status: SB 14, which would prohibit political subdivision rules, regulations and ordinances that interfere with a private property owner’s right to plant, transplant, and remove trees and vegetation from their own property, passed the Senate on July 26, 2017. HB 70, the House companion, was heard in the House Urban Affairs Committee on July 25, 2017 and was left pending.

Speeding up local government permitting process
Bills/Status: SB 13, which limits the time for municipalities and counties to approve or deny a building permit, passed the Senate on July 26, 2017. HB 164, the House companion, was filed on July 14, 2017 and has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee.

Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
Bills/Status: SB 12, which would prohibit cities and counties from enforcing an order or regulation adopted by the city or county that prohibits or restricts the use or development of real property that has been platted if the ordinance was not in effect on the date the owner acquired title to the property, was heard in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on July 22, 2017 and was left pending. HB 188, the House companion, was filed on July 17, 2017 and has been referred to the House Land and Resource Management Committee.

Municipal annexation reform
Bills/Status: SB 6, which is the Texas Annexation Right to Vote Act, passed the Senate on July 26, 2017. HB 6, the House companion, was filed on July 18, 2017 and has been referred to the House Land and Resource Management Committee.