HBA-ALS, MAJ C.S.H.B. 313 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 313 By: Giddings Urban Affairs 3/21/1999 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, there is no law authorizing a municipality to establish neighborhood empowerment zones. The establishment of such zones may be a useful means of revitalizing distressed neighborhoods. C.S.H.B. 313 authorizes a municipality to create a neighborhood empowerment zone (zone) if it finds that the zone would benefit the public health, safety, and welfare of municipal residents. C.S.H.B. 313 also authorizes a municipality to: waive or adopt certain fees related to construction in the zone; enter into agreements to benefit the zone; grant sales tax refunds; grant municipal sales tax abatements; and enter into agreements abating municipal property taxes on property located in the zone, or abate municipal property taxes on property within the zone. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle A, Title 12, Local Government Code, by adding Chapter 378, as follows: CHAPTER 378. NEIGHBORHOOD EMPOWERMENT ZONE Sec. 378.001. DEFINITION. Defines "zone" as a neighborhood empowerment zone created by a municipality under this chapter. Sec. 378.002. CREATION OF ZONE. Authorizes a municipality to create a neighborhood empowerment zone (zone) covering a part of the municipality if it determines the zone would promote the creation of affordable housing; an increase in economic development; increase the quality of social services; education, or public safety; or the rehabilitation of affordable housing in the zone. Sec. 378.003. ADOPTION OF ZONE. Authorizes a municipality to create a zone if the governing body of the municipality adopts a resolution containing the determination described by Section 378.002, a description of the boundaries of the zone, a finding by the governing body that the zone would satisfy the requirements of Section 312.202, Tax Code (Criteria for Reinvestment Zone), and a finding that the zone would benefit the public health, safety, and welfare of residents in the municipality. Authorizes a municipality to create more than one zone and include an area in more than one zone. Sec. 378.004. MUNICIPAL POWERS. Authorizes a municipality to waive or adopt certain fees related to construction of buildings in the zone; to enter into agreements that will not exceed a period of 10 years for the purpose of benefitting the zone, for sales tax refunds or abatements of municipal sales tax on sales made in the zone; to enter into agreements abating municipal property taxes on property in the zone, subject to the duration limits of Section 312.204, Tax Code (Municipal Tax Abatement Agreement); set base line performance standards such as the Department of Energy's Energy Star Program to encourage using alternative building material to address environmental, building costs, maintenance, or energy consumption concerns. SECTION 2. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE The substitute modifies the original bill in SECTION 1, as follows: Sec. 378.002. Adds language authorizing a municipality to create a neighborhood empowerment zone within the municipality if it finds its creation would promote the rehabilitation of affordable housing in the zone. Sec. 378.004. New title: "MUNICIPAL POWERS." Redesignates text in Section 378.005 of the original to Section 378.004 of the substitute. Adds language authorizing a municipality to set base line performance standards such as the Department of Energy's Energy Star Program to encourage using alternative building materials to address concerns about the environment, building costs, maintenance, or energy consumption. Deletes "additional" from the title of the original bill. Makes nonsubstantive changes.