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Bill Targeting County Development Districts Passes Senate Panel
AUSTIN -- Legislation filed by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, to prevent the misuse of county development districts was approved today by the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.
"In every session since the County Development District Act was created, the Legislature has been forced to make reforms because of the actions of some creative individuals who were using the statute in ways the Legislature never intended," Senator Nelson said. "Never did we authorize them to levy property tax. Never did we mean for them to be used as tools to develop subdivisions. Never did we intend for them to bypass the concerns of local communities, and we certainly did not want them to have access to millions of public tax dollars without strong accountability to the public. This legislation clearly defines what is unacceptable, and hopefully our message will be received loudly and clearly that you must work with the taxpayers -- not around them."
Senate Bill 420:
- clearly states that county development districts are not authorized to levy ad valorem property tax
- prohibits the creation of CDDs in a city's extraterritorial jurisdiction without permission of the municipality
- enacts conflict-of-interest provisions for board directors
- strengthens public notice requirements
- requires that CDDs disclose financial records
Senator Jane Nelson represents District 12, which includes the growing suburban communities of Denton and Tarrant counties and parts of the city of Fort Worth.