Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from January 11, 2014 through February 10, 2014.

Opinion No. GA-1040 (Appraisal District):  An expenditure an appraisal district has committed during the fiscal year to meet or secure an obligation is an expenditure that is obligated to be spent under subsection 6.06(j) of the Tax Code. Only “payments made or due to be made by the taxing units” should be included in the excess-funds calculation and returned or credited back to the taxing units as required by subsection 6.06(j). Excess funds must be returned or credited to the participating taxing units as required by subsection 6.06(j). The fact that a particular line item is not “prepared in the proposed budget” by the June 15 deadline is not by itself fatal to the expenditure. The budget process in section 6.06 does not prevent amendments to the proposed budget after the public hearing process and before the budget is finally approved. A proposed salary increase is likely not unconstitutional under Texas Constitution article III, section 53 if it operates prospectively from the time of its proper authorization. An appraisal district’s participating taxing units may utilize section 6.10 of the Tax Code to disapprove the amendment of a budget by an appraisal district board.