Texas Tax Code - TAX § 31.035. Performance of Service in Lieu of Payment of Taxes on Homestead of Elderly Person

(a) The governing body of a taxing unit by order or resolution may permit an individual who is at least 65 years of age to perform service for the taxing unit in lieu of paying taxes imposed by the taxing unit on property owned by the individual and occupied as the individual's residence homestead.

(b) The governing body of the taxing unit shall determine:

(1) the number of property owners who will be permitted to perform service for the taxing unit under this section;  and

(2) the maximum number of hours of service that a property owner may perform for the taxing unit under this section.

(c) The governing body shall require that each property owner permitted to perform service for the taxing unit under this section execute a contract with the taxing unit.  The contract must be executed before the delinquency date and must:

(1) specify:

(A) the nature of the service that the property owner will perform for the taxing unit;

(B) the facility or location where the service will be performed;

(C) the number of hours of service the property owner will perform;  and

(D) when the property owner will perform the service;  and

(2) set out or describe the provisions of Subsections (d), (e), and (f).

(d) For each hour of service performed for the taxing unit, the property owner receives a credit against the taxes owed in an amount equal to the amount that would be earned by working one hour at the federal hourly minimum wage rate.  The contract must require the property owner to perform the service not later than one year after the delinquency date for the taxes against which the property owner receives credit.

(e) Taxes for which the property owner is to receive credit under the contract do not become delinquent on the delinquency date otherwise provided by this chapter as long as the contract is in effect and are considered paid when the service is performed.  If the property owner fails to perform the service, or if the taxing unit determines that the service of the property owner is unsatisfactory, the taxing unit shall terminate the contract and notify the property owner of the termination.  The unpaid taxes for which the property owner was to receive credit under the contract for service not yet performed become delinquent and incur penalty and interest provided by Section 33.01 on the later of:

(1) the delinquency date otherwise provided by this chapter for the unpaid taxes;  or

(2) the first day of the next calendar month that begins at least 21 days after the date the taxing unit delivers notice to the property owner that the contract has been terminated.

(f) While performing service for a taxing unit, the property owner:

(1) is not an employee of the taxing unit;  and

(2) is not entitled to any benefit, including workers' compensation coverage, that the taxing unit provides to an employee of the taxing unit.

(g) Property owners performing services for a taxing unit under this section may only supplement or complement the regular personnel of the taxing unit.  A taxing unit may not reduce the number of persons the taxing unit employs or reduce the number of hours to be worked by employees of the taxing unit because the taxing unit permits property owners to perform services for the taxing unit under this section.

(h) A person performing service for a taxing unit under this section is not entitled to indemnification from the taxing unit for injury or property damage the person sustains or liability the person incurs in performing service under this section.  The taxing unit is not liable for any damages arising from an act or omission of the person in performing service under this section.


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