New laws are important
On Jan. 1, many of the laws passed during the 82nd Regular Legislative Session will go in to effect for the first time. These laws range from bills addressing property tax exemptions to regulation of metal recycling entities. Each went through a 140-day legislative session, during which it went before House and Senate committees before going before the Texas House and Senate as a whole.
The following laws represent some of those pieces of legislation that passed and will go into effect on Jan. 1:
• House Bill (HB) 252, Section 2, allows an applicant to qualify a manufactured home as a residence homestead when claiming a property tax exemption by submitting, as an alternative form of documentation, a sworn affidavit stating that the applicant is the owner of the home, the seller did not provide the applicant with a purchase contract, and the applicant tried but could not locate the seller. To qualify for a homestead exemption, the manufactured home must be on land owned by the applicant and must be the principal residence.
• HB 1228 takes effect on Jan. 1 except for Section 209.0092, which took effect on Sept. 1. HB 1228 amends the Property Code to require a property owners’ association composed of more than 14 lots to adopt reasonable guidelines to establish an alternative payment schedule by which an owner may make partial payments to the association for delinquent regular or special assessments or any other amount owed to the association without accruing additional monetary penalties.
The association is required to file the guidelines in the real property records of each county in which the subdivision is located, and certain associations are exempted from those requirements.
In addition, HB 1228 requires a payment received by an association from the owner to be applied to the owner’s debt in a specified order of priority unless the owner is in default under a payment plan entered into with the association, in which case a fine assessed by the association may not be given priority over any other amount owed to the association.
The bill restricts an association’s authority with regard to third-party collections and specifies that an owner is not liable for fees of a collection agent retained by the association under certain circumstances.
• Senate Bill 1330 Section 1 authorizes a judge to require a defendant younger than 25 years of age who receives de- ferred disposition for certain traffic offenses to complete an additional driving safety course designed for drivers younger than 25 years of age.
It is important to learn and know about the new laws that were passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature. If you would like to view any of the other legislation that was passed during the 82nd Regular Session and the first called special session, these Web sites are great resources:
• The Texas Legislature at www.capitol.state.tx.us .
• The Texas House of Representatives at www.house.state. tx.us .
• The Texas Senate at www.senate.state.tx.us .
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my capitol or district office.
Todd Hunter, R- Corpus Christi, is the District 32 State Representative. Contact him at E2-808, P.O. Box 2910, Austin TX 78768; (512) 463-0672, the district office at (361) 949-4603 or firstname.lastname@example.org. tx.us.