S.B. No. 1524
  relating to a sales and use tax refund pilot program for certain
  persons who employ apprentices.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter I, Chapter 151, Tax Code, is amended
  by adding Section 151.4292 to read as follows:
  WHO EMPLOY APPRENTICES. (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Executive director" means the executive director
  of the Texas Workforce Commission.
               (2)  "Qualified apprenticeship" means an
  apprenticeship program that is:
                     (A)  certified as an industry-recognized
  apprenticeship program by an entity determined to meet United
  States Department of Labor criteria; or
                     (B)  registered with the United States Department
  of Labor and qualified to receive funding provided through the
  Texas Workforce Commission under Chapter 133, Education Code.
         (b)  A person is eligible for a refund in the amount and under
  the conditions provided by this section of the taxes paid under this
  chapter during a calendar year if the person is certified by the
  executive director under Subsection (f) and employs at least one
  apprentice in a qualified apprenticeship position for at least
  seven months during the calendar year.  A person is not considered
  to be employed in a qualified apprenticeship position for purposes
  of this section:
               (1)  after the earlier of:
                     (A)  the fourth anniversary of employment in the
  position; or
                     (B)  the conclusion of the term of the
  apprenticeship position; or
               (2)  if the person was employed in another position by
  the employer immediately before beginning employment in the
  apprenticeship position.
         (c)  Subject to Subsections (d) and (e), the amount of the
  refund for a calendar year in connection with each apprentice
  described by Subsection (b) is $2,500.
         (d)  The total amount of the refund for a calendar year is
  equal to the lesser of:
               (1)  the amount allowed under Subsection (c) for the
  calendar year for each apprentice described by Subsection (b), not
  to exceed the maximum number of apprentices provided by Subsection
  (e); or
               (2)  the amount of sales and use taxes paid by the
  person during the calendar year.
         (e)  The maximum number of apprentices in connection with
  whom a person may receive a refund in a calendar year is:
               (1)  one; or
               (2)  not more than six if at least half of the
  apprentices employed are:
                     (A)  foster children who have transitioned or are
  transitioning to independent living, as described in Section
  264.121, Family Code;
                     (B)  military veterans, as defined by Section
  55.001, Occupations Code;
                     (C)  military spouses, as defined by Section
  55.001, Occupations Code; or
                     (D)  women.
         (f)  A person may not apply for a refund under this section
  unless the executive director certifies that the person is able to
  employ apprentices in qualified apprenticeships.  A person must
  apply to the executive director to obtain certification.  The
  executive director shall create an application form for the
         (g)  The executive director may certify not more than 100
  persons under Subsection (f) at any time.  If the number of eligible
  applicants exceeds the limit provided by this subsection, the
  executive director shall select applicants for certification
  according to rules adopted under Subsection (h).
         (h)  The executive director shall adopt rules that establish
  merit-based criteria for selecting persons to certify from among
  those who apply. The rules must require that the executive director
  give preference to applicants who:
               (1)  offer qualified apprenticeships in areas of this
  state that are not designated as metropolitan statistical areas by
  the United States Office of Management and Budget; and
               (2)  provide training and skills development in
  emerging or developing occupational fields.
         (i)  The executive director shall issue a certificate to each
  person certified under Subsection (f). The certificate must
  confirm that the person is eligible to apply for a refund under this
         (j)  A person must apply to the comptroller for a refund
  under this section. The person must include with the application
  the certificate issued to the person under Subsection (i) and any
  other information the comptroller requires.
         (k)  Not later than September 1, 2024, the executive director
  shall prepare and deliver to the governor, the lieutenant governor,
  the speaker of the house of representatives, and the presiding
  officer of each legislative standing committee with primary
  jurisdiction over taxation a report that evaluates the effect of
  the pilot program on the employment outcomes and earnings of
  apprentices with respect to whom refunds are granted under the
  pilot program under this section.  The report must include a
  recommendation regarding whether the pilot program should be
  continued, expanded, or terminated.
         (l)  A person who applies for a refund under this section
  shall provide to the executive director information the executive
  director requests to prepare the report described by Subsection
         (m)  This section expires December 31, 2026.
         SECTION 2.  A person may apply for a refund under Section
  151.4292, Tax Code, as added by this Act, only in connection with
  apprentices first employed on or after the effective date of this
         SECTION 3.  The Texas Workforce Commission and the
  comptroller of public accounts are required to implement this Act
  only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that
  purpose.  If the legislature does not appropriate money
  specifically for that purpose, the commission and the comptroller
  may, but are not required to, implement this Act using other
  appropriations available for the purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2022.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1524 passed the Senate on    
  April 21, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 27, Nays 4.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1524 passed the House on       
  May 24, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 103, Nays 38, one
  present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House