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2015-07-09

Tax office staffers attend conference; learn about new laws & regulations

By Gwenda Tschirhart,

By Gwenda Tschirhart, PCC
Bandera County Tax Assessor-Collector

Tax Assessor-Collector Gwenda Tschirhart and Chief Deputy Rebekah Bailey attended the 81st Annual Tax Assessor Collector Association of Texas Conference, held in Lubbock June 15-18. This was an exciting and educational conference this year, with legislative updates coming out of the Legislative 84th Session.
The Two Step one Sticker program was the talk of the conference. Just remember, if your vehicle registration for this year expires before your inspection, then renew the registration before your inspection. Once your inspection has expired, you then remove your inspection sticker.
Then next year, you will need your vehicle inspected prior to coming in for renewal. Present your VIR (Vehicle Inspection Report), with proof of financial responsibility, and renew your vehicle registration by paying your annual renewal fee with the state portion of the inspection fee, at our office.
Another topic was that every two years, owners will need to renew their Texas Agriculture/Timber exemption card. This is the card we need to see when renewing any trailer and or vehicle that has been issued farm plates. This card is renewed through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office.
Also Texas DMV has teamed up with Texas Veterans Commission to participate in the Fund for Veterans Assistance, which is a campaign that will inform our customers about the opportunity to support veterans. When you register your vehicle you can make a monetary donation to the Veterans Fund through DMV. By doing this, you are making it possible for Texas Veterans to receive much needed services statewide.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) has also made changes. As of Sept. 1, 2015, if you have sold your boat, limit your liability. Boat/motor owners are required to provide the new owner's information whenever a boat and or outboard motor is sold, gifted, donated or moved out of state. The purpose of the law is to hold the last recorded owner financially responsible for cleanup cost should the boat or motor end up abandoned. Texas Parks and Wildlife form PWD 1340 will need to be filled out and sent to TPWD.
Additional news from TPWD is that in the Fall of 2016, federal regulations will require us to collect and record a valid driver's license number and date of birth for individuals or a Federal Employer Identification Number for companies and/or businesses for the following types of transactions: boat registration renewal, title transfers for boat and motor and/or titling new boat or motor.
Then, HB 1933 will be on the ballot this November. The bill includes an additional homestead exemption to be granted of $10,000 for school districts. I sat in on a workshop, where tax lien transfer companies were available to answer any questions for us. They had legislation passed that will reduce the closing cost on their services. A tax lien transfer is available through various companies when taxpayers have difficulties paying property taxes. This is sometimes a great alternative, when your taxes go delinquent.