Texas HVAC/R contractors will no doubt be pleased to learn about House Bill 871, which was passed by the 87th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 4, 2021.

HB 871 explicitly prohibits municipalities from charging heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration contractors a registration fee. It also explicitly states that building permit fees are not prohibited. The language in HB 871 mirrors the language in the electricians’ section of the Occupations Code which prohibits the registration fees being imposed on them.

Prior to the enactment of a statewide license for HVAC/R contractors, each municipality issued its own license. After the statewide license went into effect, municipalities began charging contractors a registration fee to do business within the city limits, which replaced the cities’ revenue from the former license fee. In metropolitan areas, HVAC/R contractors report paying multiple municipal registration fees which can total thousands of dollars.

HB 871 was authored by Representative Geanie Morrison of Victoria, Representative Gary Gates of Richmond, and Representative Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City. The Senate sponsor was Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham. This new law is effective Sept. 1, 2021. To read HB 871, visit https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/HB00871F.htm

Contributed and published first by TDLR On The Level Building Trades Newsletter