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CHAPTER 551.

TITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICS

SUBTITLE A. OPEN GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 551. OPEN MEETINGS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 551.001. DEFINITIONS.

In this chapter:

(1) “Closed meeting” means a meeting to which the public does not have access.

(2) “Deliberation” means a verbal or written exchange between a quorum of a governmental body, or between a quorum of a governmental body and another person, concerning an issue within the jurisdiction of the governmental body.

(3) “Governmental body” means:

(A) a board, commission, department, committee, or agency within the executive or legislative branch of state government that is directed by one or more elected or appointed members;

(B) a county commissioners court in the state;

(C) a municipal governing body in the state;

(D) a deliberative body that has rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a department, agency, or political subdivision of a county or municipality;

(E) a school district board of trustees;

(F) a county board of school trustees;

(G) a county board of education;

(H) the governing board of a special district created by law;

(I) a local workforce development board created under Section 2308.253;

(J) a nonprofit corporation that is eligible to receive funds under the federal community services block grant program and that is authorized by this state to serve a geographic area of the state;

(K) a nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 67, Water Code, that provides a water supply or wastewater service, or both, and is exempt from ad valorem taxation under Section 11.30, Tax Code;

(L) a joint board created under Section 22.074, Transportation Code; and

(M) a board of directors of a reinvestment zone created under Chapter 311, Tax Code.

(4) “Meeting” means:

(A) a deliberation between a quorum of a governmental body, or between a quorum of a governmental body and another person, during which public business or public policy over which the governmental body has supervision or control is discussed or considered or during which the governmental body takes formal action; or

(B) except as otherwise provided by this subdivision, a gathering:

(i) that is conducted by the governmental body or for which the governmental body is responsible;

(ii) at which a quorum of members of the governmental body is present;

(iii) that has been called by the governmental body; and

(iv) at which the members receive information from, give information to, ask questions of, or receive questions from any third person, including an employee of the governmental body, about the public business or public policy over which the governmental body has supervision or control.

The term does not include the gathering of a quorum of a governmental body at a social function unrelated to the public business that is conducted by the body, the attendance by a quorum of a governmental body at a regional, state, or national convention or workshop, ceremonial event, or press conference, or the attendance by a quorum of a governmental body at a candidate forum, appearance, or debate to inform the electorate, if formal action is not taken and any discussion of public business is incidental to the social function, convention, workshop, ceremonial event, press conference, forum, appearance, or debate.

The term includes a session of a governmental body.

(5) “Open” means open to the public.

(6) “Quorum” means a majority of a governmental body, unless defined differently by applicable law or rule or the charter of the governmental body.

(7) “Recording” means a tangible medium on which audio or a combination of audio and video is recorded, including a disc, tape, wire, film, electronic storage drive, or other medium now existing or later developed.

(8) “Videoconference call” means a communication conducted between two or more persons in which one or more of the participants communicate with the other participants through duplex audio and video signals transmitted over a telephone network, a data network, or the Internet.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 647, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1004, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 9.012, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 165 (S.B. 1306), Sec. 1, eff. May 22, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 471), Sec. 1, eff. May 18, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 685 (H.B. 2414), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 115 (S.B. 679), Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 21.001(26), eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (S.B. 1440), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 645 (S.B. 1640), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2019.

Acts 2021, 87th Leg., R.S., Ch. 361 (S.B. 244), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2021.

Property Tax Protection Program™ Benefits

  • No flat fees or upfront costs.  No cost ever unless your property taxes are reduced.
  • All practical efforts are made every year to reduce your property taxes.
  • Never miss another appeal deadline.
  • Property taxes protested for you annually.
  • You do not have to accept the appraisal district’s initial guesstimate of value.
  • We coordinate with you regarding building size / condition to avoid excess taxes.
  • Free support regarding homestead exemptions.
  • Some years are good – typically 6 to 7 out of 10 will result in tax reduction for you.
  • The other 3 to 4 years out of 10 we strike out. Most often due to people issues in the hearing process. Some years we get an easy appraiser at the informal; some years someone who is impossible to settle with.
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