In 2017, the 85th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 625 (SB 625), a transparency bill requiring certain special purpose districts to annually provide records and other information concerning district finances and tax rates to the Comptroller of Public Accounts. SB 625 also requires the Comptroller of Public Accounts to create the Special Purpose District Public Information Database on the Comptroller’s Internet website, where information submitted by the districts will be assembled, updated, and made available to the public free of charge. (Texas Local Government Code §203.062; Texas Government Code §403.0241.)
Information submitted by special purpose districts must be transmitted in the form and manner prescribed by the Comptroller. The Comptroller’s office has developed an electronic reporting form to enable entities or their third-party representatives to submit the required information in the approved format that is now available.
All reporting is completed through the Comptroller's eSystems, a secure online portal for a variety of online transactions. If the reported information changes following the first report, entities can edit future reports any time prior to the start of the next reporting period.
Refer to Assistance for SPD Financial and Tax Reporting for details.
A special purpose district (SPD) will be required to report information to the Comptroller for inclusion in the Special Purpose District Public Information Database if it meets all of the following applicability criteria:
An SPD meeting all of the above criteria will be required to submit a report to the Comptroller every year (or affirm that information previously submitted is still accurate).
Special purpose districts have a 90-day window to report the required information. For the 2018 reporting, the period begins January 31, 2018. All required reporting information must be reported to the Comptroller’s office using the online form no later than May 1, 2018.
The Comptroller of Public Accounts encourages special purpose districts to provide, at a minimum, contact information where district representatives wish to receive notices and other communications from the agency regarding these and any future reporting requirements.
The term “temporary investments” is analogous to “cash equivalents.” This is defined in the State of Texas’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as short-term, highly liquid investments that are both readily convertible to known amounts of cash and near maturity. They present an insignificant risk of decreasing in value due to interest rate changes.
Investments with an original maturity of three months or less, and used for cash management rather than investing activities, are considered cash equivalents.
Examples could be:
Use this definition to determine if the entity you represent meets the reporting criteria.
No. You will need to fill out a separate reporting form for each SPD you represent.
An entity that is subject to the debt reporting requirements of both Local Government Code §140.008 and Government Code §403.0241 will need to comply with both requirements separately, which may mean submitting the pertinent information to the Comptroller’s office twice for any given reporting year- once through the Annual Local Debt Report and once for inclusion in the Special Purpose District Public Information Database.
If an entity does not timely report required information and does not cure its failure after notice from the Comptroller, it may be subject to a maximum penalty of $2,000 and listed as a noncompliant entity. The Comptroller has no means to determine if an entity should report information or if reported information has changed.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.