1998 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1998)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0071 and id is 1 raw text is: office of the Attornep          @eneral
6tate of Texas
DAN MORALES
ATTORNEY GENERAL                            January 9, 1998
The Honorable Steven C. Hilbig               Letter Opinion No. 98-001
Bexar County Criminal District Attorney
Bexar County Justice Center                  Re: Whether Tax Code section 312.402(d)
300 Dolorosa, Suite 5072                     precludes a commissioners court from entering
San Antonio, Texas 78205-3030                into a tax abatement agreement with a corporation
in which a commissioners court member owns a
very small percentage of shares (ID# 39608)
Dear Mr. Hilbig:
You ask whether Tax Code section 312.402(d) precludes a commissioners court from
entering into a tax abatement agreement with a corporation in which a commissioners court member
owns a very small percentage of shares.' Because we believe that the commissioners court member
is not the property owner for purposes of the statute, we conclude that the section 312.402(d)
prohibition does not apply.
Subchapter C of Tax Code chapter 312 authorizes a commissioners court of a county to enter
into a tax abatement agreement with the owner of taxable real property located in a reinvestment
zone if the county commissioners court has designated the reinvestment zone according to certain
statutory procedures. See Tax Code  312.402(a). Under a tax abatement agreement, the county
agrees to exempt from taxation a portion of the value of the property for a period not to exceed ten
years on the condition that the owner make specific improvements or repairs to the property. See
id.  312.204, .402(a).
Section 312.402(d), the statute at issue in your request, provides as follows: Property that
is located in a reinvestment zone designated by a county under this subchapter and that is owned or
leased by a member of the commissioners court may not be subject to a tax abatement agreement
made under this section. You ask whether this provision precludes a commissioners court from
entering into a tax abatement agreement with a corporation in which a commissioners court member
'You state that your office reviewed chapter 171 of the Local Government and has determined that the level
of stock ownership did not trigger the provisions of that statute. See Local Gov't Code  171.002(a) (defining
substantial interest in a business entity that triggers disclosure and abstention requirements of Local Gov't Code
 171.004). For this reason, we conclude you are not seeking our opinion about situations in which a commissioners
court member's interest in a corporation constitutes a substantial interest for purposes of chapter 171 and we do not
address the relationship between that chapter and the Tax Code provision. We also note that there may be other statutes
relevant to the type of situation you describe, about which you might wish to advise commissioners court members, that
we do not address here. See, e.g., Penal Code  39.06 (misuse of official information).

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