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Texas Senate and House Announce Interim Studies
Friday, December 18, 2015 6:55 AM

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus have issued interim charges for Senate and House committees. These in-depth studies of important issues are conducted between the legislative sessions and give the legislators research on upcoming issues.

The charges cover a wide variety of issues. Complete lists for the Senate can be found here and here for the House.

Two issues on both lists are the property tax system and the franchise tax. The Senate will "study the property tax process, including the appraisal system, and recommend ways to promote transparency, simplicity, and accountability by all taxing entities." The House will "review aspects of the property tax system that contribute to the rising property tax levies and taxpayer dissatisfaction" and "explore changes to the appraisal process that could improve the accuracy of appraisals." Both House and Senate will study the possible effect on the state’s revenue stability if the franchise tax is phased out.

Other issues of particular interest to credit unions are the work of the House Investments & Financial Services Committee, which will:

  • Study the current state of cybersecurity of financial institutions in Texas and look for additional steps that need to be taken to make them more secure.
  • Examine the short-term lending industry, consumer access to credit, and the effectiveness of consumer protections.
  • Evaluate current policies in place to prevent financial exploitation and abuse of aging Texans.
  • Study the impact on local communities when community banks are consolidated, how this changes the landscape of banking in Texas, and ways the state can help expand charter opportunities in Texas.
  • Examine payroll deductions from state or political subdivision employees for the purpose of labor organization membership dues or fees as well as charitable organization and nonprofit contributions. Determine if this process is an appropriate use of public funds.
  • Assess the impact of a repeal of the franchise tax on the state's economy and on revenue stability for state government. The assessment should include a dynamic analysis of the economic impact.

Most interim studies result in a report to the Senate or to the House containing the committee’s findings and recommendations. Copies of these reports can be obtained from the respective committee offices.

Contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop for more information.