2021 Legislative Program Overview

City of Allen’s 2021 Legislative Program guides the City’s legislative advocacy plan for the 2021 Legislative Session, reflecting the City’s priorities and position on key issues. The Legislative Agenda identifies a set of core municipal legislative and state budget priorities in need of support from Allen’s state legislative delegation and the Governor. The overall purpose of the Legislative Agenda is to protect the City’s interests by advocating for what is in the best interest of the Allen residents, businesses and stakeholders.

Aerial photo of Allen water tower with sun shining above

The 2021 Legislative Program also provides direction to City staff on which issues to monitor and how to respond to proposed legislation that could impact the City – all with the goal of ensuring the City is able to pursue and implement the priorities of the Allen community. When we are proactive in monitoring the activities of the Texas Legislature, we help ensure that the taxpayers of Allen can continue to enjoy the high quality of life they have come to expect and deserve. The City of Allen 2021 Legislative Program has been communicated to members of the Texas Legislature, and to the entire Allen community, so that our stakeholders can collaboratively, and effectively, advocate on behalf of our community’s interests.

Throughout, it is understood that a position statement supporting a legislative action also establishes opposition to legislative measures that would have the opposite effect, and vice versa.

Legislative Priorities

The City of Allen supports legislation that benefits the City and opposes legislation detrimental to the City. The City of Allen’s priorities stem from a general principle: that Allen is unique, and our ability and discretion to meet the needs of our Allen residents is an exercise in the concept of local democracy. We seek collaboration with our state delegation in preserving and protecting our ability to effectively solve local problems and meet the needs of our community.

Preservation of Home-Rule Authority

Allen is a unique community. What works for Allen may not work for the next community, so local issues deserve local solutions. Therefore, it is essential that the ability of our local leaders to respond to issues that impact our residents’ remains intact.

  • Support legislation that acknowledges and preserves home-rule authority and local control 
  • Support legislation that preserves local responsibility for property taxation decisions and budget decisions
  • Oppose legislation that limits or prohibits local control over city budgets

Transportation

The transportation needs across the State are increasing faster than the funding available. This is especially true in Collin County, one of the fastest growing counties in Texas.

  • Support measures to fund local transportation projects, such as the Ridgeview Overpass in Allen.
  • Support efforts to fully fund the state’s transportation needs through the existing authorized funding sources.
  • Support legislation to equitably distribute funding among districts within Texas.
  • Support legislation that provides funding to maintain and rehabilitate existing and aging infrastructure.
  • Support legislation that would allow greater flexibility for Allen and other cities to fund local transportation projects.
  • Oppose any reduction in transportation funding from existing revenue sources.

Strong Fiscal Stewardship

Allen elected officials at the level of government closest to our citizens bear the responsibility for providing daily services, ensuring the health and safety and providing capital infrastructure.

The City of Allen, an outstanding Bond Rated municipality, must be assured of a predictable and sufficient level of revenue and resist efforts to diminish those revenues, which are made up of a variety of sources including property taxes, sales taxes, right-of-way revenues, service fees, and court fines.

  • Support legislation that would maintain current revenue structure of the City of Allen.
  • Support legislation that promotes innovative financing tools for the construction and maintenance of local infrastructure projects.
  • Support legislation that preserves current flexibility in funding infrastructure projects.
  • Support legislation that simplifies the budget and tax rate notification and adoption process with the goal of improving transparency.
  • Support legislation that would preserve the City’s use of certificates of obligation (COs) to fund necessary capital projects, and for the debt from COs to continue to be funded from the City’s interest and sinking (I&S) tax rate.
  • Support legislation that promotes pay-as-you-go financing for capital projects by authorizing a dedicated property tax rate that is classified similarly to the debt service tax rate in property tax rate calculations.
  • Support legislation that recognizes the capital maintenance fund as a best practice to maintain infrastructure and minimize debt
  • Support legislation that caps the administrative fee assessed by the State Comptroller for administration of sales tax revenue.
  • Support amendments to SB2 that would clarify the calculation of disputed property tax values
  • Support legislation allowing for local sourcing of sales and use taxes for internet orders
  • Oppose any state mandates imposed without proportionate level of compensation
  • Oppose legislation that would limit the City’s ability to receive fair market compensation for use of public rights-of-way.
  • Oppose legislation that threatens the stability of the solid waste system, or any efforts to restrict our municipal franchise fee structures.
  • Oppose legislation that imposes further revenue caps or tax caps that restrict the City’s capacity to generate the revenue needed to provide the high level of municipal services expected by Allen residents.
  • Oppose legislation that would impose new property or sales tax exemptions that would substantially erode Allen’s tax base
  • Oppose legislation that would limit Allen’s ability to leverage our AAa bond rating to issue debt

Economic Development

The Allen community is thriving and desires to stay competitive while promoting job growth in the region. Allen taxpayers should retain the right to determine the use of Type A and Type B funds.

  • Support legislation that preserves and protects all economic and community development programs and tools currently available under Texas law, including but not limited to Chapter 380 Agreements, Type A and B Economic Development Corporations and Tax Increment Financing.
  • Support legislation and programs that retain and attract new and existing businesses.
  • Support legislation that promotes new and innovative financing tools that would leverage state funds to create jobs.
  • Support legislation that would maintain funding for grants and programs that improve workforce training.
  • Support amendments to the hotel occupancy tax statute that provide additional flexibility in how the City may use hotel occupancy tax revenue to promote tourism in the Allen.

Natural Resources

  • Support legislative efforts to increase Texas’ water supply, maintain a commitment to water conservation and preserving and improving the quality of the state’s raw water supplies.
  • Support funding measures that allocate adequate funding to increase an affordable and reliable water supply across North Texas and the entire state.
  • Support funding measures for the construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation of new and aging water utility infrastructure.
  • Support legislation that maintains control of water conservation efforts within individual water districts and/or municipalities.
  • Support legislation to streamline water project permitting process at the state and federal levels.
  • Support legislative efforts to continue Texas’ leadership in increasing solar and wind generation to protect and improve the natural environment.
  • Support programs that incentivize homeworkers and businesses to reduce their overall consumption.
  • Support legislative efforts to improve air quality in the DFW non-attainment area.
  • Support legislation that ensures reliable and affordable energy across Texas.

Local Elections

  • Support legislation that maintains the May and November uniform election dates.
  • Support legislation that promotes and/or increases voter participation.
  • Support plain ballot language.
  • Oppose legislation that requires candidates for a City office to declare party affiliation in order to run for office.

Development

The Allen community has benefited from high development standards that have created long-term quality and resiliency and maintained safety and property values.

  • Support efforts to repeal or beneficial amendments to HB 2439 (building materials bill), as passed in the 86th Texas Legislature, to mitigate the unintended consequences of a reduction in development standards.
  • Support amendments to HB 3167 (30-day shot clock bill), as passed in the 86th Texas Legislature and Section 212 of the Texas Local Government Code, to allow for high-growth communities like the City of Allen to deliver better customer service to the development community.
  • Oppose legislation that preempts the City of Allen’s authority related to land use and zoning, local amendments to building codes, local building permit fees, tree preservation, short-term rentals, and eminent domain.

Utilities

  • Support legislation that maintains authority over our community’s rights-of-way and the ability to collect reasonable compensation for their use.
  • Support legislation ensuring that utility planning is coordinated with local input and completed in advance of local growth and development.
  • Support legislation that removes barriers that restrict the provision of broadband service as a utility.
  • Support legislation that develops plans and resources needed for greater broadband connectivity to enhance public access to education, healthcare, employment, information, and services.

Government Immunity

  • Support legislation that protects local government and its officials from frivolous legal actions.

Other

  • Support legislation that clarifies the roles of state, county and municipal governments in emergency management, and their respective authority, powers, and duties during a local state of disaster.
  • Support legislation that would allow required legal notices to be published on the City’s website rather than requiring publication in an official newspaper.