From property taxes to feral hogs: Changes coming to Texas starting Sept. 1

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — In just a week and a half, a lot will change in Texas as several major new laws will go into effect Sept. 1.

From firearms to lemonade stands and age restrictions to alcohol sales, there are a few laws you might want to be aware of.

Property taxes

The new legislation aims to slow the growth of Texans’ property tax bills.

Now, if a city or county government wants to raise 3.5% more property tax revenue from the previous year, they must get voter approval.

Open carry allowed after a natural disaster

After Hurricane Harvey and the Alto tornadoes, many people were left vulnerable when it came to protecting what they had left.

A new bill allows Texans complying with an evacuation order to temporarily carry their guns without a license for up to 48 hours, so long as they’re not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm.

IN-DEPTH: Everything you need to know about Texas gun laws

Legalized lemonade stands

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Originally, cities and neighborhoods banned lemonade stands and required permits for children to operate them.

Support for this law grew after police in Overton shut down a lemonade stand run by two siblings who were raising money to buy their dad a father’s day present.

Now, all children will be able to operate lemonade stands without a license.

READ THE STORY: Young entrepreneur goes to the capitol to support lemonade stand bill

Tobacco age raised to 21

You will now have to be 21 or older to buy tobacco products in Texas after the state became the 16th in the country to raise the minimum purchasing age for tobacco to 21 years.

According to the Texas21 Coalition, 7.4% of high school students smoke and over 10% use e-cigarettes, while 10,400 kids become daily smokers every year.

The age restriction does not apply to those in the military, where they are allowed to join at 18 years of age without parent’s consent.

Texans can purchase beer-to-go

The new law extends the operations of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and reduces burdensome regulations on the beer and wine industry.

Now people are allowed to purchase and take beer home from craft breweries in Texas.

“Enjoy Responsibly.” Gov. Abbott signs beer-to-go bill into law

Dogs allowed on restaurant patios

After signing, cities cannot pass ordinances that restrict restaurants from allowing people from bringing their pets with them to outdoor eating areas.

Dogs will be required to be on leashes, be well controlled and well-behaved.

Feral hogs can be killed without a license

Feral hogs have caused thousands in property damages throughout the South.

Now Texans are allowed to kill them without a license and don’t have to prove damages before killing.

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