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Anti-linkage fee bill on the move

Friday, April 28, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Legislation that would prevent the city of Austin, or other cities, from adopting fees linked to new construction for the purpose of funding subsidized housing is on its way to the Texas House of Representatives floor. House Bill 1449 by state Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) won unanimous approval from the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month and is set for the House calendar on Tuesday. Senate Bill 852, a companion piece of legislation by state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), is in the Senate Committee Business & Commerce, where the House bill is likely to go after it wins full House approval. Although City Council had merely discussed the possibility of enacting a linkage fee, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo expressed frustration that a tool they had merely thought about using would be removed from their toolbox. The Simmons legislation specifically excludes density bonuses, which the city uses on a regular basis.

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