Legal

Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Legal

Texas Municipal Law: Our city government is set to pass a

Customer Question
budget next week. They have...
Texas Municipal Law: Our city government is set to pass a budget next week. They have held public hearings, but at no time have they put the proposed budget on the website or in the paper for citizens to read. Is that legal ? Also, in June they passed
a $10.1 Million bond or Certificate of Obligation, with no stipulations as to how to spend it. They have had several meetings deciding how to spend the $10.1 on capital improvement. Now they have a full list of appropriations. They want to pass that next week
also. The citizens have never seen the list of appropriations. Is this legal? The city budget is only $7 Million. Interest on the $10.1 Million is 3.987%, which will be over $400,000.00 per year, which will mean tax increases and budget cuts in the future.
They think it is free money !! What can a taxpayer do if these things are not legal? Thanks,
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Legal
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 19 minutes by:
8/30/2015
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago
Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,011
Experience: More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
Verified

Hello

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard

Here is the Link for you to review the Texas law on this issue As you can see there is no law mandating the budget, etc be posted or mailed or delivered to anyone and no more than one hearing is required. However, I suggest that the budget should be available for the asking by anyone wanting to review it before the hearing.

Sec. 102.006. PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED BUDGET. (a) The governing body of a municipality shall hold a public hearing on the proposed budget. Any person may attend and may participate in the hearing.

(b) The governing body shall set the hearing for a date occurring after the 15th day after the date the proposed budget is filed with the municipal clerk but before the date the governing body makes its tax levy.

(c) The governing body shall provide for public notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The notice must include, in type of a size at least equal to the type used for other items in the notice, any statement required to be included in the proposed budget under Section 102.005(b).

Sec.(###) ###-#### ***** NOTICE BY PUBLICATION FOR BUDGET HEARING. (a) The governing body of a municipality shall publish notice before a public hearing relating to a budget in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the municipality is located.

(b) Notice published under this section is in addition to notice required by other law, except that if another law requires the governing body to give notice, by publication, of a hearing on a budget this section does not apply.

(c) Notice under this section shall be published not earlier than the 30th or later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

(d) Notice under this section must include, in type of a size at least equal to the type used for other items in the notice, any statement required to be included in the proposed budget under Section 102.005(b).

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Please note that I can only provide information for what you ask. In that regard, if you have other questions or need clarification, please post them here. Otherwise, I appreciate your Positive Rating as that is how I get credit for my time and information.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you, Sam. "Any statement required to be included in the proposed budget under Sec.102.005b" What statement would be required? Would that include the entire proposed budget? (Probably not, it's about 100 pages).On the bond: They passed the $10.1 Million bond without any stipulations because "interest rates were low". Then they apparently asked the departments to request funding so they came up with $9.5 Million in appropriations so far. The public has never seen these. They have stated that they will reveal them to the public on Sept.8 when they pass the budget. (When it will be too late for the public to respond.)
So, my question is, are the appropriations from the bond money ($9.5 Million) considered to be part of the budget?
They have not had separate Public Hearings on the bond money. How can they have held a public hearing when the public has never seen the bond appropriations?
It just doesn't seem right.
The $7 Million budget is OK, But the $10.1 Million bond will mean big tax increases and cuts to services in the future.
The bond appropriations do not appear in the proposed budget. They are in a separate list.
Obviously I'm confused. I want to ask them to space the bond out over 10 years, $1 Million per year. The city can handle that.
But the city can't handle $10.1 more debt...Interest is 3.987%, which would be $400,000.00 per year. Debt service is already $1.2 Million per year. Would it not be true to say that adding $10.1 Million more debt will mean more debt service, and that will take money away from other parts of the budget, such as services, and mean more tax increases.
I guess I'm asking if they can be required to hold separate public hearings on the $10.1 Million bond, since the public hearings already held were on the budget, and they do not include the bond money in the budget the way it is written.
Thanks,
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Hello

Thank you. Here is the provision under 102.005 at this link which states

b) A proposed budget that will require raising more revenue from property taxes than in the previous year must contain a cover page with the following statement in 18-point or larger type: "This budget will raise more total property taxes than last year's budget by (insert total dollar amount of increase and percentage increase), and of that amount (insert amount computed by multiplying the proposed tax rate by the value of new property added to the roll) is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year."

I cannot address your budget concerns - I can only provide the law as I have done. If you ask for a copy of the budget you can get it, review it and then the hearing is where these issues are raised as to bonds, and where the money will be generated to cover any increase in the budget. The issue on bond hearings should be in the charter of your municipality. And you can ask for a copy of that, too.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

And so you asked if it was legal, and according to the law yes it is as I provided. You asked what the public can do and I suggest you contact your elected municipal council persons and tell them that you are not happy with the spending, and that you hope they will not pass such a budget and then you appear at the hearing and express it openly and publicly while the press is there and then at the next election you vote the bums out.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Sam: Thank you...
1) I read the city charter, and there is nothing in the charter about bonds. Is there some Texas state law that allows the city to issue bonds?
2) Are they required to hold separate public hearings on the $10.1 Million bond, since the public hearings already held were on the budget, and they do not include the bond money in the budget the way it is written ?I have a gut feeling that what they are doing is illegal, but I can't express it in legal terms.
Maybe they are violating Texas Open Meetings Act by issuing bonds without a public hearing...Thank you, ***** ***** me...This is important...Elzie
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Elzie

I can provide you some links and you can review to see if this is what you are needing

But they would only be violating the Open Meetings laws if they are having meetings in private

Please use the links below

This is the Main Link for the Texas Statutes pertaining to Municipal law

In that link under Title 4 Finances You will find

TITLE 4. FINANCES

SUBTITLE A. MUNICIPAL FINANCES

CHAPTER 101. GENERAL FINANCIAL PROVISIONS AFFECTING MUNICIPALITIES

CHAPTER 102. MUNICIPAL BUDGET

CHAPTER 103. AUDIT OF MUNICIPAL FINANCES

CHAPTER 104. MUNICIPAL INVESTMENT OF TRUST FUNDS AND SPECIAL DEPOSITS

CHAPTER 105. DEPOSITORIES FOR MUNICIPAL FUNDS

CHAPTER 106. MUNICIPAL CHILD SAFETY TRUST FUND

CHAPTER 107. OBLIGATIONS FOR CERTAIN LIABILITIES TO PUBLIC PENSION FUNDS OF A MUNICIPALITY

CHAPTER 108. MUNICIPAL BONDS FOR CERTAIN DEFINED AREAS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

I suggest if you are concerned they are breaking laws that you will want to consider at least consulting with a local attorney - it does not have to be in the Municipality - to go over all the process with you. The Statutes as you can see are detailed

If I am understanding you correctly you are concerned the Bonds were not discussed before the budget and generally the bond hearings are a separate and apart matter. Bond hearings can be held before or after a budget is adopted.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Hopefully that is helpful to you. I am not sure I can provide you any further information.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Sam: I do not believe they have had bond hearings...Are they required?
Also, I read the statutes you cited...But I am not an attorney and do not understand them.
I am a college graduate and I can understand if you explain them to me.
Thanks,
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Ok. Well, the statutes state there needs to be bond hearings. But they do not need to be before or after a budget hearing. Although they are generally held before the the upcoming fiscal year which is June 1 of any given year. Bond hearings are generally advertised in the local paper

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

If you talk to a local news reporter who covers municipal bonds for your local newspaper, they may be able to point out all the laws to you and show how they are being applied and if they are in violation. The county - not municipal - attorney's office should be able to do the same. I really can only point out the statutes to you. It is very difficult for me to do anything else via this medium but provide you the statutes and the guidance as to how you can sit down with someone local to teach you the process.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Lawyer: Sam, Attorney at Law replied 2 years ago

Anytime taxpayer money is being spent or bonds are being bought or sold, there must be advertisement in the local papers and hearings held and the hearing dates advertised, generally in the legal notices and also the local newspapers right about them.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Ask Sam Your Own Question
Sam
Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27,011
27,011 Satisfied Customers
Experience: More than 20 years of experience practicing law.

Sam is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,218 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,218 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

41,455 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

287 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Which State division oversees title insurance companies and
Which State division oversees title insurance companies and what is a contact address for filing a complaint against a title insurer. … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
6,878 satisfied customers
If there was a Time Certificate of Deposit titled joint
If there was a Time Certificate of Deposit titled joint ownership with the deceased and one of the heirs that was named in the will to share equally was not listed on the Time Certificate. Does this i… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
Title for property at 1007 Cedar Blvd. in Portsmouth, NH.
title for property at 1007 White Cedar Blvd. in Portsmouth, NH … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
34,612 satisfied customers
Is this a free service? Its involving titling a motor
Its involving titling a motor vehicle. Is that something I can ask here? … read more
Pheobe Clark
Pheobe Clark
Attorney
JD
18 satisfied customers
I bought a car and wrote on the wrong line on the title. The
I bought a car and wrote on the wrong line on the title. The DMV will not allow me to register the car now. I cannot contact the seller. Am I screwed? … read more
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
Juris Doctor (JD)
11,188 satisfied customers
I have a title that was issued thur transouth finance for a
I have a title that was issued thur transouth finance for a 1999 buick century and the lien was never taken off. … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
41,455 satisfied customers
What is title insurance. I got property through title
I got property through title insurance and lost my inhearance … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,219 satisfied customers
I paid off a title loan and purchased the vehicle the title
hi I paid off a title loan and purchased the vehicle the title co released the lien and gave me the title and then went back and applied for a replacement title that has the lien on it because their c… read more
Van
Van
Retired Criminal Court Judge
Juris Doctorate
76 satisfied customers
Example dad dies left me a 250.000 trust fund andhe says i
example dad dies left me a 250.000 trust fund andhe says i am to get 1000 a month can any other bills be pd from this trust or is 1000 it no other help i ask this to u and got no reply but you draw 54… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
34,612 satisfied customers
If I resign as administrator of a minor child's trust fund
If I resign as administrator of a minor child's trust fund and the secondary administrator is not available. Who becomes the administrator? … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,218 satisfied customers
I recevied a trust fund from my dad and he left it in his
i recevied a trust fund from my dad and he left it in his will that i get 1000 dollars a month on theb n15th intill it is all gone ihere a little sum in there but i need glasses teeth a car a home tax… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney/Landlord/Realtor
Doctoral Degree
34,612 satisfied customers
Can other things be pd from my trust fund besides the set
can other things be pd from my trust fund besides the set amount i get each month … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,218 satisfied customers
Pls have a problem with my car title, the title was in
the title was in Illinois state title but i live in indiana … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
17,979 satisfied customers
During divorce there was court ordered trust fund to be paid
During divorce there was court ordered trust fund to be paid into by my husband. Kids are now in their 50s. Can they seek the money they never got. … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
41,455 satisfied customers
I have a question regarding my trust fund. Ohio, Can you
No. Is there any way I can speak with someone on the phone? I don't mind paying a fee?… read more
Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez
JD
518 satisfied customers
Well, my Father was in charge of my $49,000.00 Trust Fund of
Well, my Father was in charge of my $49,000.00 Trust Fund of which he withdrew money without my knowledge several times! I even bought him a car which is in HIS NAME and BECAUSE I withdrew money from … read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
41,455 satisfied customers
My friend's widow wants to setup a trust fund for her late
My friend's widow wants to setup a trust fund for her late husband's son. She will use money from a Bank of America account. The son is 12 and an American citizen. She and the son live in Thailand. Is… read more
KJL LAW
KJL LAW
Juris Doctorate
1,620 satisfied customers
Regarding Living Trust funding I've set up a trust but have
Regarding Living Trust funding I've set up a trust but have not put my property in it as yet. Hoping to get some direction on properly writing the transfer of property from us to the trust.… read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,415 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x