Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax (Watch)

Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax (Watch)

CS/CS/SB 243 (Avila) and SB 688 (Garcia) require any county operating under home rule charter to use the proceeds of the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax for the planning, development and expansion of fixed guideway rapid transits or bus systems. For CS/CS/HB 243, this requirement is effective on October 1, 2022 and allows for no more than 25 percent used for nontransit uses. CS/CS/SB 243 was amended to allow municipalities in a home rule county to use the surtax proceeds to fund the planning, development, construction, operation and maintenance of roads and bridges in the municipality and for payment of principal and interest on bonds issued for the construction of roads or bridges. Surtax proceeds may be pledged by the governing body of the municipality for bonds issued to refinance existing bonds or new bonds issued for the construction of roads or bridges. Additionally, each such municipality may use surtax proceeds for transit systems within the municipality. CS/CS/SB 243 now requires that an independent public accountant conduct a performance audit of the county or school district prior to putting a local option surtax question on the ballot. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability will procure the certified public accountant and provide payment for the audit. (Hughes)