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Twenty-four Texas House and Senate bills from the 2019 legislative session went into effect with the new year, several of which impact property tax protests as well as some specific groups of homeowners.

The biggest change in new legislation is House Bill 1313, which states that homeowners who have their property values lowered one year can’t have them raised the following year without the appraisal district presenting “clear and convincing” evidence.

For homeowners with mortgages, HB 1885 ensures that if a mortgage lender pays a property owner’s taxes late, the property owner will not be fined.

HB 2441 allows people who are elderly and disabled to claim a disability exemption for one taxing entity and claim a disability exemption to another entity.

For renters, HB 69 impacts their survivors. If a sole tenant dies with an active lease agreement, survivors can terminate the lease immediately with a letter and is effective after 30 days. Additionally, HB 1002 states that landlords who issue parking permits must have the parking permit term match the term of the property lease.

Other bills of note include Senate Bill 943, which makes the basic information in government contracts public information. In recent years, government agencies have been able to shield the information after a 2015 court decision that let Boeing keep a lease agreement private.

HB 918 also went into effect, which aims to help people who were incarcerated have an easier time landing a job. The bill states that when released, prisoners will get documentation of their work experience, pre-release programs and job training they performed while serving their sentences. Also, if they do not have a copy of their birth certificate or Social Security card, officials will obtain them so people have the documents upon release.

For more information and the complete list of bills that went into effect on Jan. 1, visit https://bit.ly/2FhAH7L.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @jennafduncan.

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