HBA-GUM H.B. 2427 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2427 By: King, Tracy Ways & Means 4/12/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law requires unclaimed property reports to be notarized. Eliminating this requirement may reduce paper work and improve processing efficiency by allowing the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) to take full advantage of electronic reporting automation. H.B. 2427 eliminates the notary requirement from business property reports. Currently, the comptroller's office schedules receipt of property, from abandoned safe deposit boxes, between November 1 of the current year and June 1 of the following year. The large volume of property is difficult to handle with the existing staff of two employees. This bill moves the schedule for receipt of this property to November 1 of the current year through November 1 of the following year, giving the comptroller's staff a full year to process abandoned property. Under current law, once a business files an unclaimed property report it is required by law to file subsequent annual reports even if there is no additional unclaimed property to report to the comptroller's office. In 1998, 5,000 of property reports reflected "0," or no, unclaimed property. This bill repeals Section 74.101(b) (relating to property reports), Property Code, to require businesses to file an unclaimed property report only when the business has abandoned property to sent to the state. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the comptroller of public accounts in SECTION 1 (Sec. 74.102, Property Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 74.102, Property Code, as follows: Sec. 74.102. New title: SIGNED STATEMENT. Requires the person preparing a property report under this section to provide a statement signed by, rather than verification made under oath and executed by, a specified person. Authorizes the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) to adopt rules or policies relating to the signature requirement, as the comptroller deems appropriate, to maximize the use of future developments in electronic filing technology. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 2. Amends Section 74.301(c), Property Code, to move from after November 1 but before June 1, to before November 1, the date by which the comptroller is required to deliver property under this subsection (regarding the contents of a safe deposit box). SECTION 3. Repealer: Section 74.101(b), Property Code (relating to property reports when there is no reportable property). SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 5. Emergency clause.