HB 4015

84(R) - 2015
Urban Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Trey Martinez Fischer

Bill Caption

Relating to urban land bank demonstration programs for counties.

Fiscal Notes

No fiscal implication to the State.

Local Government

Because the bill would not have statewide impact on units of local government of the same type or class, no comment from this office is required by the rules of the House/Senate as to its probable fiscal implication on units of local government.

Bill Analysis

HB 4015 would amend the Local Government Code to authorize the governing body of a county that has a total area of less than 1,300 square miles and contains a majority of the territory of a home-rule municipality that has a population of 1.18 million or more to adopt a land bank demonstration program to use tax delinquent properties for affordable housing.

The bill sets forth procedures for implementing the proposed land bank demonstration program.  Property would be required to be sold before the foreclosure for delinquent taxes by the officer charged with sale of the property to a land bank and be zoned for development for multiple uses that would be required to include residential housing.  Additional provisions for the sale of the property concerning the original owner are included.

HB 4015 would include provisions relating to the resale of the property by the land bank, which would require the property to be sold to a qualified participating developer within the four year period after the date of acquisition for the purpose of construction for sale or rent to low income households. The bill would set out provisions for property not sold and for property unsuitable for residential development. The bill would set out additional administrative procedures for the land bank regarding the sale and development of property.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Urban land banks are used for public authorities to hold, manage, and develop tax-foreclosed property. They convert vacant, abandoned and tax-foreclosed property back to productive use. Land banks are tools of the local government to economically develop or redevelop blighted communities.

This legislation addresses potential costly impacts of abandoned homes and property.  In addition vacant properties tend to attract crime and remain substantial fire hazards. This has a negative impact on the surrounding community and spends municipal funds on nuisance abatement where there is a relatively small tax base to cover the services, thereby passing the cost elsewhere.

On the other hand this practice interferes with the free market by preventing private investors from having the opportunity to purchase these properties at county auction. 

Also, HB 4015 is bracketed for Bexar County, which makes it a purely local matter.

We are neutral on HB 4015.