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Lawmakers passed the new Texas laws during the 87th Legislative Session in the spring of 2021. The laws went into effect on Saturday, Jan. 1. (Photo by Paul Gonzales)

23 new laws went into effect for the state of Texas on Saturday, Jan. 1. These laws, passed during the regular 87th Legislative Session in spring, 2021, encompass everything from chicken coop taxes to public safety funding measures, and almost everything in between. 

Some of the more consequential of the new laws are as follows:

SB 23

Senate Bill 23 is one of the more controversial of the new laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, relating to an election to approve a “reduction or reallocation of funding or resources for certain county law enforcement agencies” for cities with 1 million residents or larger. 

SB 794

This new law will is related to the “eligibility for the exemption from ad valorem taxation of the residence homestead of a totally disabled veteran.” In other words, SB 23 exempts homestead taxes for all veterans who are classified as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

SB 911

Senate Bill 911 focuses on the regulation of restaurants and third-party food delivery services, including the “issuance of certain alcoholic beverage certificates to restaurants.”

SB 1449

This law exempts taxes from any “income-producing tangible personal property” having a value of “less than a certain amount.”

HB 115

This law exempts taxes from certain properties owned by a “charitable organization” and used in providing housing and related services to “certain homeless individuals.” 

HB 1197

House Bill 1197 expands the number of years that a church or religious organization can be exempted from ad valorem taxation on church construction land from six to 10 years , but only if the land is attached to land housing the organization’s “primary place of worship.”

HB 2535

This new law relates to the appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of real property that includes “certain improvements used for the noncommercial production of food for personal consumption.”

In other words, tax assessors cannot include personal chicken coops or rabbit pens in the value of a home. 

HB 2638

House Bill 2638 relates to the creation of certain municipal management districts and provides authority for those districts to issue bonds and to impose assessments, fees, and taxes.

For a full list of the new laws that went into effect at the beginning of 2022, visit capitol.texas.gov 

•jwillden@mysoutex.com•

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