Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from May 11, 2016 through June 10, 2016.  

Opinion No. KP-0092 (Appraisal Districts):  Interest earned on county taxes collected by an appraisal district pursuant to a contract under Subsection 6.24(b) of the Tax Code belongs to the county and, as such, must generally be remitted to the county. The accounting and remittance of funds belonging to the county from a particular tax year would depend at least in part on the terms of any contract entered into pursuant to Subsection 6.24(b) then in place. The personal liability of the tax assessor-collector for funds held in the custody of the appraisal district is ultimately a question of fact, dependent on various factors that cannot be ascertained in the opinion process.

Opinion No. KP-0091 (Financial Assistance to Nonprofits):  A county entering into an agreement with Boys and Girls Clubs to provide the organizations funding will not violate Article III, Subsection 52(a) of the Texas Constitution so long as the county:  (1) ensures that the transfer is to accomplish a public purpose of the county, not to benefit private parties; (2) retains public control over the funds to ensure that the public purpose is accomplished and to protect the public’s investment; and (3) ensures that the county receives a return benefit.

To the extent that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bandera County provide services and support to children in need of protection and care, Section 264.006 of the Family Code authorizes Bandera County to provide financial assistance to the organization in furtherance of a statutory public purpose of the county, so long as the other constitutional requirements are met.

Opinion No. KP-0088 (Forfeiture Funds):  An attorney representing the State of Texas may expend forfeiture funds to investigate a juvenile detention center only to the extent the expenditure is for an official purpose of the attorney’s office under Article 59.06 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Whether a particular expenditure is authorized under Article 59.06 involves a question of fact that cannot be answered in an attorney general opinion.