Sales tax, public safety, transportation and public park funding are just a few of the issues the Highland Village city council are prioritizing in the 88th Texas Legislature session.

The council heard recommendations from city manager Paul Stevens on Jan. 24, and finalized a document listing key issues that will be discussed during the state’s “Denton County Days” in March.

Denton County Days, which has been held in conjunction with every regular session of the Texas Legislature since 1987, focuses on cities and towns within North Texas and Denton County.

The following issues to be presented at the legislative session are highlighted in a document attached to the Jan. 24 council agenda.

Public right of ways

The council voted to support the repeal or changes to House Bill 2439, which deals with Texas cities’ ability to regulate building products, materials or building methods used in the construction of residential and commercial structures.

The city also supports the continuation of existing eminent domain authority.

Local revenue caps and online sales tax

The city opposes legislation that would shift non-voter approved debt to be paid through the maintenance and operations portion of the city’s tax rate.

“Under this scenario, the city’s recent bond issue for street and park improvements would have to be included in the maintenance and operations tax rate,” the document stated. “This would clearly take away the cities’ ability to issue bonds for necessary improvements.”

The city also opposes any legislation that would permanently eliminate sales tax for online transactions, or create new sales tax exemptions.

Public safety

Highland Village City Manager Paul Stevens specifically mentioned to council the support of state funds to improve public safety wellness, with an emphasis on suicide prevention.

“If you’ve looked at the numbers of suicides among police and fire officers, it’s quite high,” he said. “So, anything the state can do to help lower that is certainly worthwhile.”


Identifying and securing funding for the second phase of I-35E reconstruction is a priority for the city in this session, according to meeting documents. Stevens also said the city opposes legislation that impedes local authorities from adopting, implementing or considering ordinances that regulate traffic controls and safety.


An eye on long-term water supply needs of Highland Village residents and businesses is key for the city in the next session, documents stated. The city opposes state “tap fees,” which are fees on municipal water systems.

The city also opposes any legislation that might “restrict Highland Villages ability to continue providing a safe and reliable local water supply,” the document said.


Finally, Highland Village officials oppose reduced state funding of parks.

“[We encourage] the state to adequately fund maintenance and operation of state parks, recreation areas, and natural areas and monuments, while ensuring those facilities are widely and readily available to the public,” the document said.

More information on the 88th Texas Legislature can be found here.