NEW: City of Round Rock hires attorney to prepare for possible fight over proposed sales tax rule

In a move to prepare for possible legal action against the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Round Rock City Council voted unanimously April 23 to retain the services of the Law Firm of Cindy Olson Bourland, P.C. (Community Impact Staff)
In a move to prepare for possible legal action against the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Round Rock City Council voted unanimously April 23 to retain the services of the Law Firm of Cindy Olson Bourland, P.C. (Community Impact Staff)

In a move to prepare for possible legal action against the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Round Rock City Council voted unanimously April 23 to retain the services of the Law Firm of Cindy Olson Bourland, P.C. (Community Impact Staff)

In a move to prepare for possible, future legal action against the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Round Rock City Council voted unanimously April 23 to retain the services of the Law Firm of Cindy Olson Bourland, P.C.

At issue: Comptroller Glenn Hager in January proposed a rule change that could cost the city of Round Rock at least $20 million in annual sales tax revenue.

Hager’s proposal would redistribute sales tax collected on internet purchases by routing tax revenue to the purchaser’s city rather than to the city where the online sale is received by the business. For Round Rock, home of Dell Technologies, a business that receives and fulfills billions of dollars of internet orders every year, the loss in sales tax revenue is projected to be detrimental to the city’s budget.

“The rule would potentially have a very adverse impact on the city of Round Rock and, we believe, the state of Texas in general,” Round Rock City Attorney Steve Sheets said.

Sheets said the city submitted comments to the comptroller’s office April 3. Hegar’s office is expected to respond to all comments received during the public comment period sometime next week, Sheets said.


“Just in case the rule doesn’t go our way, we needed to be ready,” Sheets said. “We are engaging Ms. Bourland to assist in providing the legal services that might be necessary. It’s possible that the comptroller will do what we asked him to do, and we won’t need to do anything. But it’s also possible that he won’t.”

The firm’s agreement with the city states that services could include “consultation and representation regarding proposed rule changes by the comptroller relating to local sales tax.”

“It’s my honor to be able to represent the city of Round Rock,” Cindy Bourland said during council's April 23 meeting. “I’m happy to assist the city and city attorney as needed. Hopefully, this matter with the comptroller can be resolved promptly.”

Bourland said she is a fifth-generation native of Round Rock who has been in private law practice for 22 years. She charges an hourly rate of $475 and will serve as the lead attorney in matters between the city and the comptroller, per the agreement. Legal fees for the firm’s work are not to exceed $150,000 unless the city approves a higher amount in advance, the letter states.

“Please understand that given the scope of this matter and the potential for legal proceedings that [might] take a substantial amount of time, including the possibility of filings in district court and related appeals, it is certainly possible that legal fees could reach or exceed that cap,” Bourland said in the letter. “It is impossible for me to predict now how long the city might need my representation in this matter, and consequently, I am unable to make an estimate of total legal fees at this juncture.”

Taylor Jackson Buchanan



MOST RECENT

A screen capture of Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks at a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting
Austin Equity Office asks Travis County to be mindful when administering COVID-19 relief

Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks named several areas for continued support in relief distribution and COVID-19 test administration.

Take a look at how the coronavirus has impacted Williamson County as of June 5. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County as of June 5

The county saw an additional 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus this week.

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5, bringing the county total to 672. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County ends the week with 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported 12 additional cases of coronavirus June 5, bringing the county total to 672.

The city of Round Rock officially opened a 1.13-mile extension of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail on June 5. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
VIDEO: New section of Brushy Creek Regional Trail now open in Round Rock

The new section is a 10-foot-wide concrete hike and bike trail that stretches from A.W. Grimes to Georgetown Street.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

Currently, eight patients are hospitalized, per the report. (Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Williamson County reports 11 additional cases, two additional deaths June 4

Currently, eight patients are hospitalized, per the report.

The Pflugerville Fire Department has sustained more than $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic, as confirmed in a June 2 department news release. (Community Impact Staff)
Pflugerville Fire Department reports $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to COVID-19

The Pflugerville Fire Department has sustained more than $200,000 in unbudgeted expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic, as confirmed in a June 2 department news release.

William Nzoiwu protests police brutality against the black community. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
7 ways Austin-area residents can promote racial equity through volunteering, donation efforts

Looking for a local way to get involved? Here is a roundup of opportunities.

FEATURED NEIGHBORHOOD: The Park at Blackhawk

With a median home value of $308,000, The Park at Blackhawk has 11 homes on the market.