New Texas laws to know by Jan. 1
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - New state laws will take effect on Jan. 1, and News Channel 6 has compiled a list of the rules most likely to affect local residents.
23 bills were passed during the regular session of the 87th Legislature in May, all of which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. While most deal with certain tax requirements or exemptions, there are a few that may make those around the Falls take notice:
Flood disclosure for renters: House Bill 531 requires landlords to tell prospective tenants if their property is located in a 100-year floodplain, or if it was damaged by flooding within the past five years. The state law previously only applied to those who were buying property.
Third-party delivery app regulations: Senate Bill 911 puts more regulations on third-party food delivery services, including apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. The measure creates certain rules for how third-party delivery services interact with restaurants, including how they report complaints and display restaurant logos. A big part of the bill forbids these types of services from charging restaurants fees unless there’s a previous written agreement with the business. SB 911 also affects the issuance of certain alcoholic beverage certificates to restaurants.
Chicken coops, rabbit pens, and taxes: House Bill 2535 forbids tax assessors from including personal chicken coops or rabbit pens when determining the market value of a property.
Tax exemptions for disabled veterans: Senate Bill 794 will exempt homestead taxes for all veterans who are considered totally disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Long-term care transparency: House Bill 3961 requires long-term care facilities to post information on their websites about the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office, an independent organization within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that advocates for the rights of residents of long-term care facilities. The law is intended to address issues that arose in the early days of the pandemic, when residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities were isolated from loved ones for weeks or months.
Apprentice tax incentives: Senate Bill 1524 provides a tax incentive for employers who hire apprentices, giving employers a $2,500 sales tax refund for each apprentice hired.
Medical billing and taxes: House Bill 1445 exempts medical and dental billing service from the state’s sales or use tax.
Law enforcement funding: You may hear about Senate Bill 23, which requires voter approval before a county can reduce law enforcement funding. However, the measure wouldn’t affect Wichita County or the surrounding areas, as it only applies to counties with more than a million residents.
This is only a sampling of the laws that will take effect on Jan. 1. You can read about all of the new laws by clicking here, and see previously-enacted bills with subsections taking effect Jan. 1 by clicking here.
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