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Whatever the motivation among state lawmakers for passing House Bill 852, its real effect will be to make assessing the fair taxable value of residential property more difficult for tax appraisal districts and to do so in a way that mostly benefits developers of residential subdivisions.

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Sen. Kelly Hancock’s take-a-dog-to-lunch bill, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law June 4, is another of the assaults against local government control that have become a habit for the Texas Legislature.

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Whatever else they might have accomplished during the recently ended 86th session of the Texas legislature, lawmakers seem to have definitively settled one of the weirder controversies blowing around Galveston Bay in recent years.

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Galveston got a reprieve from having to deal with legislative restrictions on the local regulation of short-term rentals with the deaths in committee of House Bill 3778 and Senate Bill 1888.

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A change, which Galveston’s Wharves Board of Trustees approved in a 4-3 vote, allows a simple majority to remove board officers — the chairman, vice chairman or secretary — for any reason or for no reason at all.