HBA-DMD H.B. 3035 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3035 By: Oliveira State Affairs 4/13/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, the commercial space communication satellite business is $600 billion and growing. H.B. 3035 authorizes a county to establish a spaceport authority (authority), as a political subdivision of the state and a special district. This bill requires an authority to encourage the economic development of the area in which it is located by fostering the development of a spaceport and related services and industries and educational programs. This bill also requires an authority to design, construct, and operate a spaceport. It prohibits an authority from issuing a bond or acquiring property unless a site in the territory of a county that established the authority has been designated as the site for a spaceport. H.B. 3035 creates a board of spaceport commissioners (board). It also specifies the board's powers and duties. This bill also exempts an authority's property, income, and operations from taxes imposed by the state or a political subdivision of the state. It creates the Texas spaceport fund as a separate account in the general revenue fund, in order to provide a grant to an eligible authority. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the board of spaceport commissioners in SECTION 1 (Sections 2312.051, 2312.061, and 2312.064, Government Code) and to the Texas Aerospace Commission (Section 2312.104, Government Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle G, Title 10, Government Code, by adding Chapter 2312, as follows: CHAPTER 2312. SPACEPORTS SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS Sec. 2312.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "authority," "board," "bond," "commissioner," "spacecraft," and "spaceport." Sec. 2312.002. EXPIRATION. Provides that this chapter expires September 1, 2003, if the comptroller has not registered an authority before that date. SUBCHAPTER B. ESTABLISHMENT OF AUTHORITY; POWERS AND DUTIES Sec. 2312.021. ESTABLISHMENT. Authorizes a county to establish an authority (authority) by adopting a resolution authorizing the authority's establishment, and appointing members to the board of spaceport commissioners (board) as provided by Section 2312.051. Authorizes a county and any combination of municipalities or counties to establish an authority by adopting substantially identical resolutions that authorize the establishment of the authority, and appointing members to the board as provided by Section 2312.051. Provides that an authority established under this section is a political subdivision of the state and a special district. Sec. 2312.022. REGISTRATION. Requires an authority to register with the comptroller immediately after it is established. Sec. 2312.023. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES. Sets forth that an authority has the powers and duties prescribed by this chapter and is authorized to perform other acts necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Sec. 2312.024. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Requires an authority to encourage the economic development of the area in which it is located by fostering the development of a spaceport and related services and industries and educational programs. Sec. 2312.025. SPACEPORT DEVELOPMENT. Requires an authority, as soon as possible after its creation, to design, construct, and operate a spaceport through private enterprise under the authority's supervision. Sec. 2312.026. SPACEPORT SITE. Prohibits an authority from issuing a bond or acquiring property unless a site in the territory of a county that established the authority has been designated as the site for a spaceport. Sec. 2312.027. ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY; EMINENT DOMAIN. Specifies the authorization of the authority concerning eminent domain and acquiring, conveying, mortgaging, or disposing of property. Provides that, before exercising the power of eminent domain, an authority must obtain a resolution approving the proposed condemnation from the governing body of a county or municipality in which the property is located. Provides that for purposes of this section, territory in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality is considered to be in the jurisdiction of the municipality. Governs the authority's exercise of the power of eminent domain by Chapter 21 (Eminent Domain), Property Code. Sec. 2312.028. AGREEMENTS; DONATIONS; ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY. Authorizes an authority to make an agreement with or accept a donation, grant, or loan from any person. Authorizes an authority to enter into an interlocal contract under Chapter 791 (Interlocal Cooperation Contracts), Government Code. Prohibits an authority from contracting to operate a spaceport unless the agreement provides that the person contracting with the authority must assume the authority's liability for a cause of action arising from environmental damage. Sec. 2312.029. AUTHORITY TO BRING SUIT. Authorizes an authority to sue and be sued. SUBCHAPTER C. BOARD ORGANIZATION Sec. 2312.051. BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS. Sets forth that an authority is governed by a board of seven commissioners (commissioners). Requires the commissioners court of a county, for an authority established by a single county, to appoint the members, except when more than one public entity creates the authority, in which case the board must be appointed by written agreement between the governing bodies of those entities. Sets forth the terms of the commissioners. Requires a board to elect a presiding officer from among its members. Authorizes a board, by rule, to provide for the election of other officers. Authorizes an employee, officer, or member of the governing body of an entity that established the authority to serve as a commissioner. Sec. 2312.052. BOARD MEETINGS. Requires the board to meet at least once every three months in addition to when the presiding officer or a majority of the commissioners calls a meeting. SUBCHAPTER D. BOARD POWERS AND DUTIES Sec. 2312.061. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD; RULEMAKING AUTHORITY. Sets forth that a board is responsible for the management, operation, and control of an authority and the board is required to exercise the powers and duties of the authority. Requires a board, by rule, to formulate general policy and procedures to govern the authority and its activities. Sec. 2312.062. COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES. Provides that a commissioner serves without compensation but is authorized to be reimbursed for a reasonable and necessary expense incurred in performing an official duty. Sec. 2312.063. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Authorizes a board to employ an executive director to manage an authority's day-to-day operations and other persons necessary to carry out the authority's duties. Sec. 2312.064. EDUCATION; ADVISORY AGENCIES. Requires a board, by rule, to develop a plan for higher education courses and degree programs to be offered at or near a spaceport that must be related to the purposes of this chapter. Requires the Texas Aerospace Commission (commission) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to cooperate with and advise a board in carrying out this section. SUBCHAPTER E. FINANCES; TAXES; BONDS Sec. 2312.101. MISCELLANEOUS FINANCIAL POWERS. Authorizes an authority to impose a charge for using a spaceport or a service the authority provides, issue a bond, borrow money, loan money to fund a spaceport, and invest money under its control in an investment permitted by Chapter 2256 (Public Funds Investment), Government Code. Sec. 2312.102. TAX EXEMPTION. Exempts an authority's property, income, and operations from taxes imposed by the state or a political subdivision of the state. Requires an authority, in lieu of taxes, to make a payment to each political subdivision of the state in an amount equal to the ad valorem taxes that would be paid on the land of the authority if the land were privately owned. Provides that tangible personal property such as a spacecraft or other property necessary to launch the spacecraft is not taxable under Section 11.01 (Real and Tangible Personal Property), Tax Code, if it is located in the spaceport for a temporary period of 175 days or less. Sets forth that Chapter 151 (Limited Sales, Excise, and Use Tax), Tax Code, does not apply to tangible personal property purchased by a person for use in a spaceport. Sec. 2312.103. BONDS. Authorizes an authority to issue bonds that must be payable solely from the revenue of a spaceport developed by the authority issuing the bond, mature no later than 50 years after its date of issuance, and state on its face that the bond is not an obligation of the State of Texas. Sec. 2312.104. TEXAS SPACEPORT FUND. (a) Defines "commission" in this section. (b) Creates the Texas spaceport fund (fund) as a separate account in the general revenue fund. (c) Authorizes the commission to use money appropriated to the commission from the fund to provide a grant to an eligible authority. Authorizes the commission, by rule, to provide procedures necessary to administer the fund and the grant program provided by this section, including procedures for an authority to apply for and receive a grant. (d) Provides that an authority is eligible to receive a grant for a spaceport that is or is planned to be on a site no smaller than 1,000 acres and budgeted to cost $100 million or more. (e) Requires the commission, when determining whether to grant money to an eligible authority, to consider the size of the proposed spaceport, the cost of the proposed spaceport, and other factors the commission provides by rule. (f) Prohibits the commission from granting money to an authority unless the commission has received written approval from the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house for that grant. SECTION 2.Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3.Emergency clause.