Taylor business leaders recently heard about the upcoming state legislative session and how it might affect the community.
Texas’ 87th Legislative Session will begin Jan. 12, 2021 and will run until May 31. Former Taylor mayor Jesse Ancira addressed the Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce Nov. 16 to discuss what to expect in Austin.
“My role at the capitol is I serve as a lobbyist and a consultant to a number of clients who have business at the capitol so I make it an effort to keep up with what’s going on a year-round basis although particularly when we get into the session,” said Ancira, “and we’ve got the 2021 session upon us.”
Many bills have already been submitted ahead of the session. The number of bills filed during the past few legislative sessions has trended up. Some can have an impact locally.
“Of the first batch, generally most of them can have some affect on our community because there were a number that have election-related reforms,” said Ancira. “There are a number that have police reforms. There are a number that touched upon property tax continued reform. There are a number on governance, particularly through an emergency.”
Another bill on the table is in regard to building code and regulations. Ancira says the city would be very interested toward that bill which would address what type of materials could be used for building new developments.
“There was a bill passed last session,” said Ancira, “and so I know the city is looking for some amendments to that particular bill.”
Elsewhere, local sales tax sourcing will be addressed this session. In short, the state comptroller had concerns when it came to sales tax rebates and revenue going to municipalities that have agreements with businesses with small footprints in their communities and/or that ship products from outside their boundaries.
“These cities, there’s about a dozen of them are very unhappy because they entered into a legal contract with a company in which they agreed to share the local sales tax,” said Ancira, “and now the legislature’s going to come in and preempt that possibly.”
However, this is one proposed amendment Taylor isn’t expected to worry about in the near future.
“I don’t think we have any agreements such as that where we had a large business entity that is sourcing their taxes here,” said Ancira. “In fact, we would probably gain a little bit of revenue in this case, but if we were situated like Round Rock and we had a Dell or a smaller version of Dell or larger, then we would definitely be concerned.”
Other major issues to be addressed this session are:
• COVID-19 response;
• budget and fiscal issues;
• economic recovery;
• broadband and digital divide; and
Standard discussion is expected to touch on transportation and infrastructure, health and human services, natural resources, general government, judiciary and criminal justice matters, and contracting and procurement reform.
For more on the Texas Legislature, visit https://capitol.texas.gov.