Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from June 11 through July 10, 2019.

KP-0257 (Credit Card Surcharge): Section 604A.0021 of the Business and Commerce Code prohibits imposing a surcharge for the use of a credit card in certain instances. Although a recent judicial decision held Section 604A.0021 unconstitutional as applied to specific facts, it remains enforceable in some contexts. But it does not apply to a county imposing a surcharge on a payee using a credit card for the payment of money owed to the county.

Section 103.0031 of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a county to contract with a private attorney or a public or private vendor for the provision of collection services for fees. If a county is entitled to impose a surcharge fee for credit card use, a court would likely conclude that a private attorney or collections agency acting as agent for the county could collect that surcharge on behalf of the county when collecting other fees, taxes, or other charges.