A Texas House bill filed in February aims to allow municipalities to rework already-certified property values after Pearland staff encountered an incorrect tax worksheet that brought the city a $10.3 million deficit.

State House Rep. Ed Thompson, R-Pearland, filed the bill Feb. 23, which is described on the Legislature webpage as “relating to the authority of the officer or employee designated by the governing body of a municipality to calculate certain ad valorem tax rates of the municipality to recalculate those rates.”

Thompson’s Chief of Staff Benjamin Williams said the bill, HB 2714, would allow municipalities to recalculate their property tax worksheets after the rolls have been certified. Tax rolls give information on the value of properties.

In Pearland’s situation, city staff said they received incorrectly assessed property values in a part of the city that resides in Harris County. The city discovered the incorrect value, which staff said was provided by the Harris Central Appraisal District, after the values were already certified and the city’s budget was passed.

The city eventually received a corrected worksheet from the Brazoria County tax assessor-collector, allowing the city to move forward with next year’s budget process with the correct values.

Thompson said Pearland officials contacted him after discovering the worksheet error to discuss what could be done at a state level to address the issue. He said he hopes the bill can allow cities facing any similar circumstances in the future to “cure” the problem themselves.

“I'm not going to point fingers at anyone really, but it certainly wasn’t the city of Pearland’s fault that they were given some information that they relied on,” Thompson said. “We want cities to be able to provide the services that the citizens need ... within a reasonable tax rate.”