Law:Title 4. General Law Districts from Chapter 57. Levee Improvement Districts (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 57. Levee Improvement Districts

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  57.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "District" means levee improvement district.

(2)  "Board" means the board of directors of a levee improvement district.

(3)  "Water commission" means the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(4)  "Commissioners court" means the commissioners court of the county in which the district is located or the commissioners court of the county of jurisdiction.

(5)  "Executive director" means the executive director of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(6)  "Commission" means the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 982, ch. 367, Sec. 30, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 1.147, 1.155, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 1.079, eff. Aug. 12, 1991.



Subchapter B. Creation Of District

Section  57.011.  Creation.

A levee improvement district may be created in the manner prescribed by this chapter under Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.012.  Petition.

(a) Before a district is created, a petition must be presented to the commissioners court or to the county judge of the county if the commissioners court is not in session.

(b)  The petition, signed by the owners of a majority of the acreage of the proposed district, shall:

(1)  describe the proposed boundaries of the district;

(2)  state the general nature of the proposed improvements and their necessity and feasibility;

(3)  state whether the taxes proposed to be levied in the district are to be levied on the ad valorem basis or on the benefit basis; and

(4)  designate a name for the district which shall include the name of the county in which the district is located.

(c)  If the proposed district is composed of land in two or more counties, the petition must designate one of the counties in which any part of the district is to be located as the county of jurisdiction, and this county has jurisdiction over all matters concerning the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.013.  Deposit.

(a) A petition for creation of a district shall be accompanied by a deposit of $50, and if the district is to be composed of more than one county, the deposit shall be $75.

(b)  The deposit shall be paid to the clerk of the commissioners court and the clerk shall use the deposit to pay all expenses incident to the hearing on the petition. The clerk shall pay the expenses with vouchers approved by the county judge.

(c)  If any of the deposit is left after the expenses are paid, the clerk shall return the excess to the petitioners or their attorney.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.014.  Hearing On Petition.

The commissioners court or the county judge to which the petition is presented shall fix a time and place for the hearing on the petition before the commissioners court. The hearing must be held during the period beginning with the 15th day and ending with the 30th day after the date of the order.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.015.  Notice Of Hearing.

(a) The commissioners court shall order the county clerk to issue notice informing all persons concerned of the time and place of the hearing, and of their right to appear at the hearing to contend for or contest the creation of the district, and the county clerk shall deliver the notice to any adult person who is willing to post it.

(b)  The notice shall be posted at the courthouse door and at a place inside the proposed district. If the district is located in more than one county, the person posting the notice shall post a copy at the courthouse door in each county in which any portion of the proposed district is located and at a place inside the boundaries of that portion of the district located in each county. The notice shall be posted for at least 10 days before the date of the hearing.

(c)  Any person who posts the notice shall make an affidavit before some officer authorized by law to administer oaths that he posted the notices. The affidavit is conclusive of the sworn facts.

(d)  The order of the commissioners court shall direct the county clerk to mail notice of the hearing to the executive director in Austin, Texas. The notice shall state that the petition has been filed and shall include a statement of the petition's general purpose and the time and the place of the hearing.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 982, ch. 367, Sec. 31, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 34, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.016.  Investigation By Executive Director.

(a) When the executive director receives the notice provided for in Section 57.015(d), he shall examine the proposed district, and do the work required to determine the necessity, feasibility, and probable costs of reclaiming the land of the district from overflow and of draining it properly. The executive director shall also determine the costs of organizing the district and maintaining it for two years.

(b)  A representative of the executive director shall attend the hearing on the petition to create the district and file a written report with the commissioners court on matters which have been investigated. The executive director shall furnish the commissioners court any additional information that is required.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 961, ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 1981.



Section  57.017.  Hearing Procedure.

(a) The commissioners court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine all issues with respect to the creation of the district and all issues involved in proceedings with respect to the district after it has been created.

(b)  The commissioners court may adjourn the hearing from day to day and from time to time.

(c)  The commissioners court may make all incidental orders deemed proper with respect to the matters before it.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.018.  Conduct Of Hearing.

At the hearing, the commissioners court shall hear the petition and all issues with respect to the creation of the proposed district. Any person interested, or his attorney, may appear and contend for or contest the creation of the district and offer testimony pertinent to any issue presented.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.019.  Findings And Judgment.

(a) Before the commissioners court determines that the district should be created, it must find:

(1)  that the petition is signed by the owners of a majority of the acreage in the proposed district;

(2)  that notice of the hearing was given;

(3)  that the proposed improvements are desirable, feasible, and practicable; and

(4)  that the proposed improvements would be a public utility and a public benefit and would be conducive to public health.

(b)  If the commissioners court determines that the district should be created, it shall render a judgment which recites its findings and establishes the district.

(c)  The commissioners court shall include its findings and judgment in an order which shall be recorded in the minutes of the commissioners court. The order shall define the boundaries of the district, but it does not have to include all of the land described in the petition if at the hearing a modification or change in the district is found to be necessary.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.020.  Appeal Of Dismissal Of Petition.

If at the hearing on the petition the commissioners court enters an order dismissing the petition, the petitioners or any one of them or any taxpayer in the district may appeal the order to the district court of the county.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.021.  Notice Of Appeal.

(a) Notice of the appeal shall be given by announcement at the time the order of the commissioners court is recorded or by written notice within the two-day period immediately following the entry of the order.

(b)  If the notice is announced at the time the order is entered, the notice shall be entered in the minutes of the commissioners court.

(c)  Written notice given under this section shall include a simple statement that the undersigned is appealing the order of the commissioners court and shall be filed with the county clerk.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.022.  Appeal Bond.

Within five days from the date the order is recorded, the appellant must file an appeal bond with two or more good and sufficient sureties, payable to the county judge, approved by the county clerk, and conditioned upon the due prosecution of the appeal and payment of all costs incident to the appeal. No extension of time will be granted for filing the appeal bond.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.023.  Time For Appeal. Unless

the appeal is perfected according to Sections 57.021-57.022 of this code within five days after the order is rendered, the order shall be final and conclusive.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.024.  Transfer Of Records And Orders.

Within five days after the appeal bond is filed, the county clerk must transfer to the clerk of the district court all the records filed with the commissioners court which relate to the establishment of the district and a transcript of the orders of the commissioners court. No additional pleadings are required.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.025.  Trial Of Appeal And Judgment.

(a) The district court shall set the appeal for a hearing. The appeal shall be tried de novo.

(b)  The judgment of the district court shall be final and conclusive, and the decision shall be certified to the commissioners court for its further action.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2646, ch. 707, Sec. 4(45), eff. Aug. 31, 1981.



Section  57.026.  Authorizing Districts To Operate Under This Chapter.

(a) Districts that are organized under the laws of this state for the purpose of reclaiming lands through a system of levees and drainage and that are not governed by the provisions of laws of this state are entitled to and may exercise all the rights, powers, and privileges conferred by this chapter on districts created under it. They are also entitled to exercise all of the enlarged powers which may be conferred under Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution.

(b)  Before a district may operate under the provisions of this chapter, the owners of a majority of the acreage of the district must present to the commissioners court of the county in which the district is located a petition requesting that a hearing be ordered to determine whether or not the district may avail itself of the provisions of this chapter.

(c)  The commissioners court shall fix a time and place for the hearing, and give notice according to the provisions of Section 57.015 of this code.

(d)  At the hearing the commissioners court shall hear evidence for and against the issue presented by the petition. If it finds that the interests of the district would be promoted by granting the petition, it shall enter a judgment in the record, declaring that:

(1)  it is in the interest of the district to avail itself of all rights, powers, and privileges conferred by this chapter on district created under it;

(2)  the district on behalf of which the petition is filed is entitled to and may exercise all rights, powers, and privileges conferred by this chapter on districts created by it; and

(3)  the district may exercise all the rights, powers, and privileges as if it were created under this chapter, and shall proceed as if it were created under this chapter.

(e)  The decree of the commissioners court shall not in any way injuriously affect any financial liability of the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Subchapter C. Administrative Provisions

Section  57.051.  Appointment Of Board Of Directors.

The commissioners court which creates a levee improvement district under this chapter, by majority vote, shall appoint three directors for the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.053.  Term Of Office, Removal, And Succession.

(a) A vacancy on the board shall be filled by majority vote of the commissioners court, and the court shall appoint directors so that the board will always have full membership.

(b)  The commissioners court, by majority vote, may remove an appointed member of the board.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 715, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  57.057.  Election Of Board Of Directors.

After creation of a district, an election may be held to determine whether or not directors for the district will be elected rather than appointed.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1248, ch. 483, Sec. 5a, eff. Aug. 29, 1977.



Section  57.058.  Number Of Elected Directors.

In districts which have elected boards, there shall be five directors on the board. In countywide districts, one director shall be elected by the electors of the entire district and one director elected from each county commissioners precinct by the electors of that precinct. In other districts, all five directors shall be elected from precincts within the district to be established by the commissioners court.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1248, ch. 483, Sec. 5b, eff. Aug. 29, 1977.



Section  57.059.  Qualifications For Elected Directors.

To be qualified for election as a director, a person must be a qualified property taxpaying elector of the precinct and county from which he is elected and be eligible under the constitution and laws of this state to hold the office to which he is elected.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.060.  Petition.

Before an election is held under Section 57.057, a petition, signed by at least 100 electors in the district who are qualified to vote, shall be presented to the district requesting that an election be held in the district to determine whether or not directors for the district should be elected and, if so, to elect directors to serve until the next regular director election. The petition shall include the name of one or more nominees for each director's position.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1249, ch. 483, Sec. 5c, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 715, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  57.061.  Procedure For Election.

After the petition is presented under Section 57.060, the board shall order an election.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1249, ch. 483, Sec. 5d, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 715, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter D. Powers And Duties

Section  57.091.  Purposes Of District.

A district may be created for the following purposes:

(1)  to construct and maintain levees and other improvements on, along, and contiguous to rivers, creeks, and streams;

(2)  to reclaim lands from overflow from these streams;

(3)  to control and distribute the waters of rivers and streams by straightening and otherwise improving them; and

(4)  to provide for the proper drainage and other improvement of the reclaimed land.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.092.  General Powers Of District.

(a) The district may enter into all necessary and proper contracts and employ all persons and means necessary to purchase, acquire, build, construct, complete, carry out, maintain, protect, and, in case of necessity, add to and rebuild all works and improvements necessary or proper to fully accomplish the purposes of the district, including the reclamation of land within the district.

(b)  The powers granted in this section are subject to the supervision and direction of the commission or other authority created by law.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1247, ch. 483, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 983, ch. 367, Sec. 32, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 1.148, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 33, eff. June 17, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 35, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.093.  Adopting Rules And Regulations.

A district may adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations to:

(1)  preserve the sanitary condition of all water controlled by the district;

(2)  prevent waste or the unauthorized use of water controlled by the district;

(3)  regulate privileges on any land or any easement owned or controlled by the district;

(4)  regulate the design and construction of improvements and facilities that outfall, connect, or tie into district improvements and facilities; or

(5)  require the district's review and approval of drainage plans for property within the district.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 34, eff. June 17, 2001.



Section  57.100.  Construction Of Levees.

(a) The district may construct the necessary levees, bridges, and other improvements across or under

(1)  railroad embankments, tracks, or rights-of-way;

(2)  public or private roads or the rights-of-way for the roads; or

(3)  levees, other public improvements, and rights-of-way of other districts.

(b)  A district may join its improvements to improvements in another district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.101.  Construction Of Levees By Railroad Companies And Other Authorities.

(a) Before the district may construct a levee, bridge, or other improvement across or under any railroad improvement or right-of-way, any road, or any improvement of another district, the board must notify the proper railroad authorities, or other authorities of the additions or changes to result from the improvements planned by the district.

(b)  The railroad authorities, or other authorities shall have 30 days from the day they receive the notice to agree or not to agree to do the work at their own expense to construct the improvements in their own manner.

(c)  If a railroad or other authority undertakes to construct an improvement for the district, the design or manner of construction must be satisfactory to the district and must be approved by the commission.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 983, ch. 367, Sec. 34, eff. June 10, 1981.



Section  57.103.  Injuring Levees.

A person who wrongfully or purposely cuts, injures, destroys, or in any manner impairs the usefulness of a levee or other reclamation improvement, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or by confinement in the county jail for not more than one year or by both.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.104.  Construction Of Improvements.

The district may construct all improvements necessary or convenient to accomplish the purposes of the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 961, ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 36, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.108.  Conditions Of Contract. (a)

Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 57.

(b)  Contracts may be awarded or entered in sections for the purpose of the purchase, acquisition, construction, and improvement of pumping equipment, reservoirs, culverts, bridges, and drainage improvements as these may become necessary.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1247, ch. 483, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 37, 57(1), eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.111.  Conditioning Contract On Sale Of Bonds.

After the approval and registration of bonds by the proper state officials as provided in this chapter, the board may award contracts conditioned on the sale of bonds in an amount equal to the contract price.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.116.  Engineer's Construction Report.

(a) As work progresses on the district's improvements, the engineer shall make a report to the board, showing in detail whether or not the contract is being fulfilled.

(b)  When the work is completed, the engineer shall make a detailed report to the board, showing whether or not the contract has been completely fulfilled, and if not, in what particular it has not been fulfilled.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 38, 39, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.117.  Inspection And Report By Executive Director.

(a) The executive director shall inspect the construction of a levee or other improvement once every 60 days after the construction work has commenced, and if he finds that the work has been done in strict accordance with the contract, the executive director shall certify this fact, and his certificate shall give a full description of the work done up to the date of inspection.

(b)  If the executive director finds that the work has not been done in strict accordance with the contract, he shall officially certify this fact, and in the certificate he shall state where the contractor has failed to comply with the contract.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 961, ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 40, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.118.  Compliance With Contract.

After the board receives a report that the contractor has failed to comply with the contract, it shall demand that the contractor comply with the requirements of the contract at his own expense, and no further accounts, claims, or vouchers submitted by the contractor shall be approved or paid until the contractor complies with the requirements of the executive director by constructing the improvement in accordance with the contract.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 961, ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 41, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.121.  Interpretation Of District Powers.

Except as expressly provided, specific powers authorized by this chapter may not operate as a limitation on the general powers authorized by this chapter.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Subchapter E. Engineer's Report

Section  57.151.  Authority Of Engineer.

The engineer, subject to the authority of the commission, shall control the engineering work of the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 961, ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 1.149, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  57.154.  Survey And Report.

(a) The engineer shall make a survey of the land inside the boundaries of the district, and land surrounding the district, that will be improved or reclaimed by the system of levees and drainage to be adopted and shall prepare for the board a written report, with maps and profiles, of the results of his survey.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 57.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 983, ch. 367, Sec. 35, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 57(1), eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.155.  Contents Of Report.

(a) The engineer's report shall contain a complete plan for draining land, constructing levees on land, and reclaiming land of the district from overflow or damage by waters from streams inside or adjacent to the district which may affect land in the district. The report shall also include a description of the physical characteristics of the land within the district and the location of any public roads, railroads, rights-of-way and roadways, and other improvements on the land of the district.

(b)  The plan may include, and where necessary must include, the costs of straightening streams which may injure the land of the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Subchapter F. General Fiscal Provisions

Section  57.177.  Financing The District Without Bonds.

(a) If the district wants to carry out its purposes without issuing bonds, the board may arrange for contributions from landowners or other sources to provide the funds required to complete the improvements.

(b)  The electors of the district may vote to create an indebtedness which is not evidenced by bonds.

(c)  If the district creates an indebtedness under this section, the indebtedness may not be more than:

(1)  the cost of construction of the improvements included in the engineer's report;

(2)  the cost of maintaining the improvements for two years; and

(3)  an additional amount equal to 10 percent to meet emergencies, modifications, and changes lawfully made, plus damages awarded against the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 983, ch. 367, Sec. 36, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 43, eff. June 18, 2003.



Subchapter G. Issuance Of Bonds

Section  57.201.  Power To Issue Bonds.

The district may issue bonds, but it may not issue bonds nor incur any debt unless an election is held in the district and the proposition is approved by a majority vote of the electors of the district who vote in the election.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.207.  Declaring Result Of Election.

The board shall enter an order declaring the election result in its minutes.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 715, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  57.208.  Issuance Of Bonds.

(a) If the issuance of bonds and the levy of taxes to pay for the bonds are approved by the electors of the district, the board may order the issuance of the bonds in one or more installments as the board may deem necessary from time to time up to the amount approved at the election.

(b)  The bonds shall be known as "Levee Improvement Bonds".

(c)  The bonds shall be:

(1)  issued in the name of the district;

(2)  signed by the chairman of the board; and

(3)  attested by the secretary of the board with the seal of the district affixed to the bonds.

(d)  The board shall fix the denominations, terms and conditions of the bonds and make them payable at an expedient time not more than 30 years from the date on the bonds.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1249, ch. 483, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 44, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.212.  Bond Record.

(a) After the bonds are issued, the board shall deliver a well-bound book to the county treasurer of the county of jurisdiction, who shall keep in the book a record of:

(1)  all bonds which have been issued;

(2)  the number of each bond;

(3)  the amount of each bond;

(4)  the rate of interest on each bond;

(5)  the date of issuance of each bond;

(6)  the date when each bond is due;

(7)  the place where each bond is payable;

(8)  the amount received for each bond; and

(9)  the tax levy to provide a sinking fund to pay principal of and interest on the bonds.

(b)  The treasurer shall keep the book open at all times for inspection by any taxpayer or bondholder, and when a person pays for a bond, the treasurer shall enter the payment in the book.

(c)  The county treasurer is entitled to receive for his services in keeping a record of the bonds the same fee allowed by law to the county clerk for recording deeds.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.213.  Refunding Bonds.

(a) With the consent of the bondholders, a district may refund outstanding bonds by issuing new coupon bonds in their place.

(b)  Interest is shown by coupons attached to the bonds, and the commissioners court of jurisdiction shall determine whether the board will pay the interest on the bonds annually or semiannually.

(c)  The board may pay the refunding bonds serially or in any other manner they choose, but, except as provided in Subsection (d) of this section, they shall pay the bonds not later than 40 years from the date the bonds are issued.

(d)  A district that taxes on the benefit basis and that is located in a county with a population of over 1.3 million may refund outstanding bonds or matured interest coupons on bonds issued by the district with new coupon bonds payable not more than 75 years from their date.

(e)  The district shall issue the bonds in denominations of $100 or a multiple of $100 and, before the bonds are delivered, shall levy a tax sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the refunding bonds. The refunding of bonds does not affect any taxes already due.

(f)  The board shall issue refunding bonds in the manner provided for other district bonds.

(g)  The board shall deduct any money on hand in the sinking fund account to ascertain the amount of refunding bonds to be issued and shall apply the money to the payment of the outstanding bonds.

(h)  The board may not issue refunding bonds until they are approved by the attorney general and registered by the comptroller, and the comptroller shall not register the refunding bonds until the old bonds being replaced are presented to him for cancellation. After the comptroller registers the new bonds, he shall cancel the old bonds and interest coupons and deliver the new bonds to the proper bondholders. The old bonds may be presented for cancellation in installments, and the comptroller may register and deliver a like amount of the new bonds.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 598, ch. 237, Sec. 140, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 148, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  57.2131.  Alternative Methods Of Issuing Refunding Bonds.

(a) A district may issue refunding bonds as provided for in this section, notwithstanding Section 57.213 of this code.

(b)  A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, notes, or other obligations including matured but unpaid interest.

(c)  Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 40 years from their date and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by the constitution and laws of the state.

(d)  Refunding bonds may be made payable from the same source as the bonds, notes, or other obligations being refunded or from other additional source or sources.

(e)  The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general in the manner provided by law for other bonds of the district and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(f)  The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that the refunding bonds will be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount which, when added to the earnings and profits from the investment of such amount, is sufficient to pay the interest on and principal of the bonds being refunded to their maturity dates, or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment prior to maturity according to their terms, shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable.

(g)  If the district issues refunding bonds in accordance with Subsection (f) of this section, the comptroller shall register refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(h)  A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries.

(i)  Refunding bonds are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(j)  In lieu of the methods provided in this section and in Section 51.213 of this code, a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general law of the state.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 471, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 1985.



Section  57.214.  Issuance Of Refunding Bonds Without An Election.

A district which is converted under Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, may issue refunding bonds without the approval of the electors under the provisions of Section 56.210 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.215.  Investment Of Sinking Fund.

The board or commissioners court of jurisdiction may invest the district's sinking funds in county, municipal, district, or other bonds in which other sinking funds may by law be invested and also may invest the sinking funds in bonds of the series to which the funds apply if the bonds are offered for redemption before maturity on terms considered advantageous to the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.216.  Providing For Additional Funds.

(a) If the improvements in the engineer's report are insufficient to reclaim all of the land and other property inside the district, extensive repairs or additions to the improvements are necessary, or additional funds are needed to complete improvements, the board may provide additional funds for the district by following the provisions of this chapter for raising funds.

(b)  If the board creates additional indebtedness or issues additional bonds, the indebtedness or bonds are subject to the provisions of this chapter relating to the issuance of bonds.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 984, ch. 367, Sec. 38, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 45, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.217.  Eligibility Of District Bonds For Investments And Public Funds.

A district's bonds, when certified and approved by the attorney general and registered by the comptroller as herein provided, shall be legal and authorized investments for all banks, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, insurance companies of all kinds and types, fiduciaries, and trustees and for all interest and sinking funds and other public funds of the State of Texas and all agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities of the state, including all counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, and all other kinds and types of districts, public agencies, and bodies politic. A district's bonds shall be eligible and lawful security for all deposits of public funds of the State of Texas and all agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities of the state, including all counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, and all other kinds and types of districts, public agencies, and bodies politic, to the extent of the market value of the bonds, when accompanied by any unmatured interest coupons attached to them.

Added by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1250, ch. 483, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 29, 1977.



Subchapter H. Tax Provisions

Section  57.251.  Levy Of Taxes On The Ad Valorem Basis.

(a) If a district levies taxes on the ad valorem basis, it shall levy and have assessed and collected taxes on all taxable property in the district.

(b)  The taxes must be sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds as it is due, and to raise a sufficient amount to create a sinking fund to redeem and discharge the bonds at maturity.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1251, ch. 483, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2321, ch. 841, Sec. 4(r), eff. Jan. 1, 1982.



Section  57.258.  Assessment And Collection Of Taxes For Districts With Land In More Than One County.

(a) A district providing for the levy of taxes on the ad valorem basis which includes land located in more than one county has all the rights, powers, and privileges of districts that include land in one county.

(b)  The assessor and collector of each county having land included in the district shall assess the taxes levied by the commissioners court of his county against the land in his county which is included in the district for each year that a tax is levied.

(c), (d) Repealed by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2330, ch. 841, Sec. 6(a)(3), eff. Jan. 1, 1982.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2330, ch. 841, Sec. 6(a)(3), eff. Jan. 1, 1982.



Section  57.259.  Assessment Of Damages. (a) I

n a district which levies taxes on the ad valorem basis, the commissioners of appraisement shall be appointed and shall act in the manner provided in Sections 57.261-57.270 of this code, except that persons appointed under this section may not assess benefits.

(b)  Proceedings, notice, and hearings shall be governed by the provisions of this chapter relating to assessment of taxes on the benefit basis.

(c)  Provisions of this chapter relating to assessment of damages in districts levying taxes on the benefit basis shall apply to assessment of taxes on the ad valorem basis.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.260.  Levy Of Taxes On Benefit Basis.

(a) If a district levies taxes on the benefit basis, the commissioners court of each county in which any portion of that district is located shall levy and have assessed and collected taxes on all taxable property inside the district, based on the net benefits which the commissioners of appraisement find will accrue to each piece of property from the improvements described in the engineer's report or other authorized improvements.

(b)  The taxes shall be sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds, as it is due, and to raise an amount to create a sinking fund sufficient to discharge and redeem the bonds at maturity.

(c)  The levy for each year throughout the life of the bond issue may be made at the time the bonds are issued and shall be the rate of levy for each year until it is modified.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 46, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.261.  Appointment Of Commissioners Of Appraisement.

The commissioners court of the county of jurisdiction in a district levying taxes on the benefit basis shall appoint three disinterested commissioners, known as "commissioners of appraisement."

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 47, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.262.  Qualifications For Commissioners Of Appraisement.

The commissioners of appraisement shall be freeholders, but not owners of land within the district for which they are to act, and shall not be related within the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to any of the members of the commissioners court of jurisdiction, the board, or to any landowners in the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 55, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  57.263.  Compensation Of Commissioners Of Appraisement.

(a) The commissioners of appraisement in their report shall show the number of days each has been employed and the actual expenses each has incurred during his service as commissioner.

(b)  The district shall pay each commissioner of appraisement $5 a day for his services and reimburse him for all necessary expenses when his accounts are approved by the board.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.264.  Organization Of Commissioners Of Appraisement.

(a) The secretary of the board shall notify each of the commissioners of appraisement in writing of his appointment and of the time and place for the first meeting.

(b)  The commissioners of appraisement shall meet at the time and place specified, or as soon after that time as practicable, at a time and place agreed on by them.

(c)  The commissioners of appraisement shall each take and subscribe an oath to faithfully and impartially discharge their duties as commissioners, and to make a true report of the work done by them.

(d)  At the first meeting the commissioners of appraisement shall organize by electing one of their number chairman and one vice chairman. The secretary of the board or in his absence, a person the board appoints, shall be secretary of the commissioners of appraisement during their continuance in office.

(e)  The secretary shall furnish the commissioners of appraisement information and assist them in the performance of their duties.

(f)  If a commissioner of appraisement resigns, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided for filling vacancies on the board.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.265.  Duties Of Commissioners Of Appraisement.

(a) The commissioners of appraisement shall begin to perform their duties within 30 days after qualifying and organizing.

(b)  The commissioners of appraisement may at any time call on the attorney of the district for legal advice and information and, if necessary, may require the engineer or one of his assistants to assist in the proper performance of their duties.

(c)  The commissioners of appraisement shall view:

(1)  the land inside the district;

(2)  other land which will be affected by the engineer's report if carried out;

(3)  all public roads, railroads, rights-of-way, and other property or improvements located on the land; and

(4)  land inside or outside the district which may be acquired under the provisions of this chapter for any purpose connected with or incident to carrying out the engineer's report.

(d)  The commissioners of appraisement shall assess the amounts of benefits and all damages that will accrue to any tract of land inside the district or any land outside the district which may be affected by the engineer's report, or any public highway, railroad, right-of-way, roadway, or other property.

(e)  The commissioners of appraisement shall assess the value of all land inside or outside the district to be acquired for right-of-way or other purposes.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 48, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.266.  Report Of Commissioners Of Appraisement.

(a) The commissioners of appraisement shall prepare a report of their findings. The report shall include:

(1)  the name of the owner of each piece of property examined and assessed;

(2)  a description which will identify each piece of property; and

(3)  the value of all property to be taken or acquired for rights-of-way or any other purposes connected with carrying out the engineer's report.

(b)  At least a majority of the commissioners of appraisement shall sign the report. They shall file the report with the secretary of the board.

(c)  The failure of the commissioners of appraisement to return damages to any tract of land inside or outside the district shall be considered a finding that no damage will be done to that tract.

(d)  The commissioners of appraisement in their report shall fix a time and place to hear objections to the findings in the report. The date for the hearing shall not be less than 20 days from the filing of the report.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 984, ch. 367, Sec. 39, eff. June 10, 1981; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 49, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.267.  Notice Of Hearing.

(a) After the commissioners of appraisement file their report with the secretary of the board, the secretary shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing on the report.

(b)  The notice shall be published in a newspaper published in each county in which any part of the district is located, or in which any land lies that will be in any way affected by the proposed engineer's report. The notice shall be published once a week for two consecutive weeks before the date of the hearing.

(c)  The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

To the owners and all other persons having any interest in land lying in ___ County, take notice, that a copy of the engineer's report of the ___ Levee Improvement District has been filed in the district's office and that the commissioners of appraisement have been appointed to assess benefits and damages accruing to land or other property inside or outside the levee improvement district which will be benefited, taken, damaged, or affected in some way by the carrying out of the engineer's report. The report of the commissioners of appraisement has been filed in my office at ___, and all interested persons may examine the report and make an objection to all or any part of the report. A person who claims damage to his land and to whose land no damages have been assessed in the report must file a claim for damage in my office on or before ___, ___. A person who fails to make an objection or to file a claim for damages is deemed to have waived his right to object or claim damages. The commissioners of appraisement will meet on ___, ___, to hear and act on objections to their report and claims for damages.

____________________

Secretary, Board of Directors

__________ Levee Improvement District

(d)  The secretary shall mail written notice to each person whose property is listed in the report of the commissioners of appraisement, if the office address is known. This notice shall state in substance:

(1)  that the report of the commissioners of appraisement assessing benefits and damages accruing to land and other property because of the engineer's report for the district has been filed in the district's office;

(2)  that all persons interested may examine the report and make objections to it in whole or in part; and

(3)  that the commissioners of appraisement will meet on the day and at the place named to hear and act on objections to the report.

(e)  The secretary, on the day of the hearing, shall file in his office the original notice, with his affidavit, which shall show the manner of publication and the names of all persons to whom notices have been mailed. The affidavit shall state that the secretary could not with reasonable diligence ascertain the post-office addresses of those affected to whom no notices were mailed.

(f)  The secretary shall file copies of the notice and his affidavit with the commissioners of appraisement and with the clerk of the commissioners court of jurisdiction.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 50, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.268.  Rights Of Parties.

Parties interested in matters before the commissioners of appraisement may appear in person or by attorney, or both, and are entitled to process for witnesses, to be issued by the chairman of the commissioners of appraisement on demand. The commissioners of appraisement have the same power as a court of record to enforce the attendance of witnesses.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.269.  Hearing; Judgment.

(a) An owner of land or other property affected by the report of the commissioners of appraisement or by the engineer's report may file an objection to any or all parts of the report of the commissioners of appraisement at or before the hearing on the report.

(b)  A person on whose land no damages have been assessed and who believes that his land will be damaged by prosecution of the engineer's report may file with the secretary of the board a claim for damages.

(c)  The commissioners of appraisement, at the time and place named in the notice, shall hear and decide all objections and claims for damages and may make changes and modifications in the report.

(d)  The commissioners of appraisement may adjourn the hearing from day to day.

(e)  After modifying the report to conform to the changes decided on at the hearing, the commissioners of appraisement shall make a decree confirming the report as modified.

(f)  If necessary the commissioners shall condemn and adjudge damages for land inside or outside the district that is needed for right-of-way or other purposes.

(g)  The commissioners shall adjudge and apportion costs incurred on the hearing in an equitable manner.

(h)  The findings of the commissioners of appraisement as to benefits is final and conclusive.

(i)  The secretary shall record the findings of benefits in the minutes of the board and shall file certified copies of the findings with the county clerk of each county in which any portion of the land inside the district is located. The filing is notice to all persons of the contents of the decree.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 72, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 51, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.270.  Appeal Of Decree Of The Commissioners Of Appraisement.

(a) A person or the board may appeal from the decree of the commissioners of appraisement assessing or refusing to assess damages or fixing the value of a right-of-way.

(b)  The only questions considered on an appeal are:

(1)  whether or not just compensation has been allowed for property taken;

(2)  whether or not proper damages have been allowed for property injured; or

(3)  whether or not in fact property has been damaged.

(c)  The appeal shall be taken to the district court of the county of jurisdiction in the manner, under the conditions, and within the time provided by Sections 57.020-57.025 of this code for appeals from judgments of the commissioners court refusing to create the district.

(d)  The district court has jurisdiction of the appeal regardless of the amount claimed.

(e)  The secretary in not less than five days after the appeal is filed shall send to the district clerk:

(1)  the engineer's report or a certified copy of it;

(2)  a transcript of that part of the commissioners of appraisement's report affecting the lands concerned in the appeal;

(3)  a transcript of the claim for damages; and

(4)  a transcript of the action of the commissioners of appraisement on the claim.

(f)  Appeals may be consolidated in the district court.

(g)  The trial in the district court shall be de novo, and the proceedings shall be in accordance with the laws of this state for damage suits.

(h)  The claimant is considered the plaintiff, and the district, the defendant, and no further pleadings are required.

(i)  Appeals may be taken from the judgment of the district court as in other civil cases.

(j)  No appeal may delay carrying out the engineer's report, and if the board pays to the district clerk the amount of damages awarded by the commissioners of appraisement to a claimant who is appealing their decree, and if the board makes bond to pay to the claimant any additional amount that he may be awarded on his appeal, title to the condemned property that is the subject of the appeal vests in the district, and the district is entitled to immediate possession.

(k)  No person may claim damages against the district, its board, officers, or agents because of the prosecution of the engineer's report if he owns or has an interest in land in a county in which notice has been published of the hearing before the commissioners of appraisement, and he has failed to file a claim for damages or an objection to the damages assessed by the commissioners of appraisement against his land, or if he has filed a claim or objection but has failed to appeal from an adverse ruling on his claim or objection.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 52, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.271.  Basis Of Taxation. (a) A

fter the action of the commissioners of appraisement, as provided in Sections 57.261-57.270 of this code, their final findings, judgment and decree assessing benefits, until changed or modified, shall form the basis of taxation for the district, for all purposes for which taxes may be levied by the district.

(b)  Taxes shall be apportioned and levied on each tract of land, railroad, and other real property in the district in proportion to the benefits to the property named in the decree of the commissioners of appraisement.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.272.  Tax Assessor For Districts Levying Taxes On Benefit Basis.

(a) The secretary of the board shall serve as tax assessor for a district levying taxes on the benefit basis.

(b)  When a tax is levied, the secretary shall, at the expense of the district, prepare a tax roll substantially in the same form as the assessment roll made by county assessor and collector, except the roll shall state net benefits assessed against property.

(c)  The secretary shall compute the amount of taxes assessed against each piece of property and enter the amount on the tax roll and shall file with the assessor and collector of each county in which a portion of the district is located a certified copy of the part of the tax roll which relates to property in the district located in that county.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.273.  Readjusting Assessments.

(a) After one year from the date of the final judgment and decree of the commissioners of appraisement the owners of a majority of the acreage in the district may file a petition with the commissioners court alleging that the previous assessment of benefits in the judgment and decree is insufficient or inequitable and requesting an increase or readjustment of the assessment of benefits for the purpose of making an adequate or more equitable basis for levying taxes.

(b)  If the engineer's report is changed or modified, or if extensive repairs or additions to the engineer's report are desired, the board shall file a petition with the commissioners court describing the changes, modifications, repairs, or additions.

(c)  When a petition is filed, the commissioners court shall set a day for a hearing on the petition.

(d)  The commissioners court shall issue notice informing all persons concerned of the time and place of the hearing, and of their rights to appear and contend for or contest a reassessment of benefits. The notice must be posted as provided in Section 57.015 of this code for posting notice of the hearing for establishing the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 53, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.274.  Hearing On Petition For Reassessment.

(a) At the hearing on readjustment of assessments, the commissioners court shall hear the petition and receive evidence for or against the petition.

(b)  The commissioners court shall order a reassessment of benefits if it finds that the aggregate amount of assessed benefits as shown by the previous final judgment and decree is insufficient to carry out the original engineer's report or changes, repairs, or additions to the report or there has been a material change in the relative value of the benefits conferred on the property in the district, or for some reason the assessment of benefits is inadequate or inequitable.

(c)  If the commissioners court orders a reassessment, it shall appoint commissioners of appraisement as provided in Section 57.263 of this code, and the new commissioners of appraisement have the same powers, rights, privileges, and duties as provided in Section 57.267 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 54, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.275.  Tax Collection On Reassessment.

(a) The judgment and decree of the commissioners of appraisement reassessing benefits in the district are the basis of the assessment of taxes in the district.

(b)  The assessment can again be modified or changed but there can be no reassessment of benefits that will in any way render any outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the district insecure. The sum of benefits as reassessed may never be less than the sum of all outstanding bonds and other indebtedness of the district.

(c)  The commissioners court of each county in which the district is located shall levy and have assessed and collected taxes based on the reassessment, at a rate sufficient to provide funds to pay the interest on all outstanding bonds and other indebtedness of the district, to pay the bonds or other indebtedness at maturity, and to provide the necessary sinking funds to pay all bonds or other indebtedness that may be issued.

(d)  If the engineer's report is modified, or if extensive repairs or additions are made, the provisions of this section apply to districts that levy taxes on the ad valorem basis, but the commissioners of appraisement shall assess only the damages which will accrue to the property inside or outside the district as a result of the changes in the report.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 248, Sec. 55, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  57.279.  Collection Of Delinquent Taxes.

(a) Taxes levied on the benefit basis under this chapter are a first and prior lien on all property against which they are assessed and are payable, mature, and become delinquent as provided in the Property Tax Code for ad valorem taxes.

(b)  The Property Tax Code governs the collection of delinquent taxes levied on the benefit basis and the sale of property for the payment of the taxes.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2321, ch. 841, Sec. 4(r), eff. Jan. 1, 1982.



Subchapter I. Dissolution

Section  57.321.  Dissolution Of A District. Subjec

t to the provisions of Sections 50.251-50.256 of this Code, if the commissioners court finds at any time before the sale of a district's bonds or final lending of its credit in another form that the proposed undertaking for any reason is impracticable or apparently cannot be successfully accomplished, the commissioners court may dissolve the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.322.  Requirements For Dissolving A District.

(a) To dissolve a district, a petition signed by the owners of a majority of the acreage in the district requesting the commissioners court to dissolve the district and stating the reasons for dissolution must be presented.

(b)  At the time the petition is filed, a $50 deposit shall be made to pay for the expenses of a hearing on the petition.

(c)  The petition shall be set for a hearing, notice shall be given, the hearing held, and the expense deducted from the deposit in the manner provided in this chapter for creation of the district.

(d)  The commissioners court has the same powers over dissolution of a district that it has over creation of a district.

(e)  If at the hearing the commissioners court finds that the district should be dissolved, it shall render a judgment reciting its findings and enter an order on its records declaring the district dissolved.

(f)  The commissioners court shall appoint the chairman of the board or some other suitable person as trustee to close the affairs of the district without delay, and shall determine the length of the term and the amount of compensation for the trustee.

(g)  If the commissioners court finds that the district should not be dissolved, it shall dismiss the petition at the cost of the petitioners and enter its findings on record.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.323.  Return Of Taxes On Dissolution.

(a) If a district is dissolved, the commissioners court shall order returned to the taxpayers ratably any unspent taxes that have been levied and collected in the name of the district in anticipation of an issue of bonds.

(b)  Before the taxes are returned, the compensation due the assessor and collector and the treasurer and any other claim properly charged against the taxes must be deducted from them.

(c)  The treasurer shall receive and file proper receipts for all sums refunded.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.324.  Dissolving A District By Election.

A district may dissolve its corporate existence by election.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.325.  Petition.

To dissolve a district by election, a person shall present a petition, signed by the owners of a majority of the acreage in the district, to the commissioners court at a regular session, requesting the commissioners court to dissolve the district.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.326.  Election Order.

(a) After it receives a petition under Section 57.325 of this code, the commissioners court shall order an election to be held in the district at the earliest possible legal time to determine whether or not the district should be dissolved.

(b)  If the proposition to dissolve the district fails to carry at the election, the commissioners court may not order another election for the same purpose within one year after the result of the election has been announced officially.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.327.  Election Procedure, Time, And Place For Holding Election. The Pr

ovisions of Sections 57.203-57.207 of this code apply, so far as possible, to a dissolution election.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.328.  Ballot.

The commissioners court shall have the ballots printed to provide for voting for or against the following proposition and no other: "Dissolving the levee improvement district."

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.329.  Vote Necessary To Carry Proposition.

More than two-thirds of the persons voting in the election must vote to dissolve the district to carry the proposition.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.330.  Commissioners Court Order Dissolving District.

(a) If the proposition to dissolve the district carries, the commissioners court shall make an order substantially as follows: "(Name of petitioner) and (number of other petitioners) others presented a petition asking for an election to decide whether or not (name of county) County Levee Improvement District (district number) should be dissolved. The commissioners court held the election on (date), and more than two-thirds of the resident property taxpayers voting in the election voted to dissolve the district. As a consequence of the election result, (name of county) County Levee Improvement District (district number) is dissolved."

(b)  The commissioners court shall enter the order in its minutes.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.331.  Dissolution Trustees.

The commissioners court shall appoint as trustees, three landowners of the district, and the three appointed landowners assume the duties of trustees at the time they file the bond required under Section 57.332 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.332.  Trustees' Bond.

(a) When the commissioners court issues the dissolution order under Section 57.330 of this code, the trustees shall execute jointly a good and sufficient bond in an amount sufficient to cover the amount of the outstanding bonds and other debts of the district, payable to and approved by the county judge, conditioned on the trustees faithfully performing their duties as trustees and paying money and delivering other property of the district over which they have control to the persons entitled to the money or other property.

(b)  When the bond is executed, it shall be recorded in the minutes of the commissioners court. When the bond is approved, it supersedes the bond the treasurer executed under Section 57.065 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.333.  Trustees' Compensation.

(a) The trustees are entitled to receive for their services as trustees a one-half of one percent commission on all money they receive for the district and a one-half of one percent commission on all money they pay out as trustees. This commission is the entire compensation for all three trustees.

(b)  The trustees are not entitled to a commission on money in the treasury when they become the trustees or on money in the treasury when their trusteeship ends.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.334.  Appointment Of Trustee To Fill Vacancy.

In case of death or resignation of a trustee, the commissioners court shall appoint a successor to fill the vacancy.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.335.  General Duties Of Trustees.

(a) The trustees have control of the disposition and sale of all district property.

(b)  The trustees have control of all the property of the district, including the money in the treasury, and shall keep the district's money and all its books, notes, accounts, and choses in action of every kind.

(c)  The trustees may sue to recover property and collect debts of the district, and may employ counsel in suits and in caring for the district's property and managing the district's dissolution.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.336.  Trustees' Expense.

(a) The trustees shall make a charge against the trust estate for each reasonable expense incurred by them in conducting the business of the district and in litigating a suit for the district.

(b)  The trustees shall charge any unpaid counsel fees or court costs incurred by former district officers against the trust estate.

(c)  The trustees shall present the charges against the trust estate to the commissioners court and shall post notice in the manner provided for other claims against the district.

(d)  If the commissioners court approves a charge against the trust estate, the charge becomes a valid, preferred claim against the district.

(e)  The trustees, acting as treasurer, may retain money in their control to pay for a valid claim which they have against the district.

(f)  If the commissioners court rejects a part of an expense which the trustees think is a valid claim, the trustees may appeal the decision as other claimants.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.337.  Claims That Were Approved Before District Was Dissolved.

The trustees shall pay all unpaid bonds and claims outstanding against the district before the commissioners court issues the dissolution order except those which are protested according to the provisions of Section 57.338 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.338.  Protesting Payment Of Claims Approved Before District Was Dissolved.

(a) If a person who pays taxes in the district protests the payment of a claim filed under Section 57.337 of this code, the trustees shall refuse to pay the claim.

(b)  The protest is sufficient to cause the trustees to disallow the claim if the person making the protest files the protest with the trustees, along with a bond for twice the amount of the claim, signed by sufficient sureties approved by the trustees, payable to the trustees, and conditioned on the protesting taxer's paying all costs of suit if the claimant establishes his claim in full.

(c)  A person whose claim is disallowed under this section may sue the trustees for the amount he claims.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.339.  Claims Not Approved Before District Was Dissolved. (a) A

person who has a claim or judgment against the district which was not approved by the commissioners before the district was dissolved may collect on the claim only by following the procedure prescribed in this section and Sections 57.340-57.342 of this code.

(b)  The person must present the claim, duly verified, to the trustees within six months after the day the commissioners court approves the bond of the trustees.

(c)  The trustees shall examine the claim, and if the trustees find that the claim is correct, they shall allow it. If the trustees allow the claim, the person making the claim must file it with the county clerk not less than 20 days before the beginning of the regular session of the commissioners court that follows the date the trustees allowed the claim.

(d)  If the trustees find that it would be unjust for them to allow a claim, they shall endorse on the claim their refusal to allow it, and the person making the claim may sue the trustees for the amount he claims in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county.

(e)  If the trustees find that it would be unjust for them to allow part of the claim, they shall endorse on the claim the parts of it they allow and the parts they disallow. The person making the claim may either waive his claim to the part disallowed and file the claim with the commissioners court or refuse to waive his claim to the part disallowed, withdraw the claim from the trustees, and sue the trustees for the amount he claims.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.340.  Claims, Payment Orders, And Appeals.

(a) The commissioners court, in a regular session, shall pass on claims. The commissioners court shall approve each claim it finds to be correct and shall issue an order stating that approval and shall enter the order in its minutes.

(b)  When the order of approval is entered in the minutes, the claim becomes a valid claim against the district.

(c)  If the commissioners court approves a claim under this section, the person making the claim shall file the claim with the trustees.

(d)  If the person making the claim is not satisfied with the terms of the order of approval or if the commissioners court refuses to approve the claim, the person may appeal the decision of the commissioners court.

(e)  When a claim is filed under Section 57.339 of this code, the county clerk shall immediately issue notice of the filing to all persons interested in the district. The notice shall be posted in three public places in the district and at the courthouse door not less than 20 days before the next regular session of the commissioners court.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.341.  Claims Judgments.

(a) If a person making a claim sues the trustees for the amount of the claim and wins a judgment against the trustees, the person shall file the judgment with the trustees.

(b)  If the suit contests a claim under Section 57.338 of this code, the contestant and his sureties shall be made parties to the suit, and the trustees shall assert all defenses urged against the claim in the protest. If the claimant wins a judgment for the whole amount of his claim, the court shall render a judgment against the contestant and his sureties for all costs incurred in the suit.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.342.  Claims To Be Paid. The Tru

stees shall pay from money left in the district's treasury on dissolution claims filed with them under Sections 57.336, 57.337, and 57.339 of this code, in the order that the claims are filed.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.343.  Disposition Of Debts After Election.

(a) If the district is dissolved, the commissioners court shall provide for the settlement of the debts of the district, including the costs and expenses of holding the election.

(b)  The commissioners court may levy, assess, and collect a sufficient tax on the property in the district in the manner provided in this chapter, to pay all the valid debts and obligations of the district, except bonds issued and held by a purchaser.

(c)  The district shall pay bonds that have been issued and are held by a purchaser according to the terms of the bonds by levy and collection of an annual tax as provided in this chapter unless retirement of the bonds is effected as provided in Section 57.344 of this code.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.344.  Accelerated Retirement Of Bonds.

(a) If there are any district bonds outstanding at the time the commissioners court issues the dissolution order, the commissioners court shall immediately begin negotiations with the holders of the bonds to determine whether or not the retirement of the bonds can be accelerated.

(b)  If the bonds can be retired at an earlier date than the date stipulated on their face, either as a result of the terms of the bonds or because of an agreement between the commissioners court and the holders of the bonds, then the commissioners court may levy a tax to pay off the bonds as quickly as possible.

(c)  The commissioners court shall have the tax assessed and collected annually or at one time.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.



Section  57.346.  Final Trustee Report.

(a) After the trustees pay all valid claims established against the district and satisfy the cost and expenses of controlling and managing the district, they shall file a report of the final settlement with the commissioners court.

(b)  The trustees shall include in the report:

(1)  a full and complete account of all money received and paid during their trusteeship;

(2)  an account of the disposition of all property which came under their control as trustees; and

(3)  an account of all other matters relating to the management of the affairs of the district.

(c)  On the approval of the report, the commissioners court shall direct the trustees to turn over any property or money remaining in their control to the person designated by the commissioners court to receive the money or property.

(d)  When the trustees have complied with the direction of the commissioners court, they shall report their compliance to the commissioners court. After the trustees have reported their compliance, the commissioners court shall discharge the trustees and their sureties and close the trust estate.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 110, ch. 58, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1971.


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