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Mayor John Thomaides invited to meet with Gov. Abbott to discuss special session agenda on local authority

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San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides will meet with Gov. Greg Abbott today along with mayors from 18 cities across Texas to discuss items on the special session agenda that will target the authority of local officials to pass certain regulations within their cities.

In a letter sent to Abbott on July 17, some of the largest cities in Texas, including Austin, Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio, signed in agreement against “proposals announced as part of the call for the 85th Special Legislative Session that will directly impede the ability of Texas cities to provide vital services that reflect the priorities of local residents.”

Some items being considered for this special session include state authority over local ordinances on phone use while driving as well as a proposal to overhaul the state’s current property tax system.

According to the Texas Tribune, the bill that targets the state’s property tax system will include the requirement that local governments get voter approval if the proposed tax rate is expected to increase by five percent or more. The current law allows for voter approval if rates are expected to increase by eight percent or more.

The controversial topic of Senate Bill 4 is not expected to be discussed on today’s agenda, according to Kristi Wyatt, the Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations in San Marcos.

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