HBA-RBT H.B. 2931 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2931 By: Cook Natural Resources 3/29/1999 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Commercially owned and operated multi-family residential properties normally receive water and wastewater service from the local public utility on a "master meter" basis. Using submetering in such situations may encourage the conservation of water. Switching from a "master meter" system to a submetering system requires installation of submeters by the owner of a complex. H.B. 2931 authorizes the owner of a multi-user facility to allocate taxes and surcharges paid to the public water utility to the tenant on a usage basis. This bill allows a 9 percent service charge to be allocated to each submetered dwelling or unit. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in SECTION 2 of this bill and that rulemaking authority previously delegated to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission is modified in SECTION 1 (Section 13.503and 13.5031, Water Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter M, Chapter 13, Water Code, as follows: New title: SUBCHAPTER M. SUBMETERING AND NONSUBMETERING FOR APARTMENTS AND MANUFACTURED HOME RENTAL COMMUNITIES AND OTHER MULTIPLE USE FACILITIES Sec. 13.501. DEFINITIONS. Redefines "dwelling unit" and "owner." Defines "manufactured home rental community" using the definition of "mobile home park." Sec. 13.502. SUBMETERING. Makes a conforming change. Sec. 13.503. SUBMETERING RULES. Requires the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (commission) to encourage submetering of individual rental or dwelling units by master meter operators to enhance the conservation of water resources. Includes taxes and a service charge of no more than nine percent in the list of items that can be charged to tenants by the owner or manager of a manufactured home rental community, apartment house, multiple use facility, or condominium. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. Sec. 13.5031. NONSUBMETERING RULES. Includes manufactured home rental community owners in the list of facilities that the commission must adopt rules regarding billing systems. Makes conforming changes. Sec. 13.504. IMPROPER RENTAL RATE INCREASE. Makes a conforming change. Sec. 13.505. ENFORCEMENT. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 2. Requires the commission to adopt rules to implement the changes made to Subchapter M, Chapter 13, Water Code, by this Act as soon after the effective date of this Act as possible. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment Number 1. Modifies the definition of "manufactured home rental community." Adds a new Subsection (c) to Section 13.503, Water Code, to prohibit an owner that installs submeters from allocating the cost of installation to the tenant.