This post is an excerpt from the Austin REALTOR® magazine’s cover story: The Election is Over: Now What? Read the full article.
Even though much of the media attention was focused on the Presidential election, the results of state and local elections can oftentimes have a larger impact on the everyday lives of most Americans. In Texas, we didn’t see many significant changes in our state leadership stemming from the November election, but you can expect some key issues at all levels of government that may impact your business and the Central Texas region. No matter what comes up, your association is there every step of the way to protect you and your business.
Perhaps the biggest win for the REALTOR® Party here in Central Texas was the passage of Austin Proposition 1. From the outset, ABoR was excited to support the $720 million bond proposal that will provide critical funding to ease congestion on major corridors, which are used by so many in Central Texas. This project will add up to 50 miles of new sidewalks to provide children safer routes to school and improve intersections to increase traffic flow. ABoR Government Affairs staff and REALTOR® volunteers are already monitoring the projects outlined in this bond and expect to see movement on some shovel-ready portions soon.
CodeNext the re-write of Austin’s Land Development Code is one of ABoR’s priority issues this year. An effective and efficient land development code will help address affordability issues and ensure that Austin has abundant housing options for all who live here, no matter the income. In communities outside of Austin, ABoR will continue to engage with local governments on issues that will impact your business and homeowners alike.
Property taxes and SB2
In late November, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick released a listing of his key legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Chief among Lt. Governor Patrick’s priorities is property tax reform, which could directly impact you, your clients, and your business. Texans currently pay the sixth highest property taxes in the country, which has an impact on affordability both here in Central Texas and all across the state.
In line with Lt. Governor Patrick’s priorities, State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) filed Senate Bill 2 on the same day that the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief, which he chaired, released a 90-page report detailing a long list of changes. Max B. Baker of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram described SB2 as “sweeping property tax reform and relief bill […] designed to fight the statewide rise in property tax bills by increasing accountability of appraisal district officials and making it easier for taxpayers to challenge higher tax rates through ratification elections.”
SB2 is just one of the bills that TAR will be monitoring on your behalf, and TAR anticipates bills related to the following issues to be discussed at the Capitol this year: high-speed rail, short-term rentals, the Texas Real Estate Commission, and transportation network companies (ridesharing). You can be confident that TAR staff will read every single bill to ensure nothing gets through that could negatively affect your business or private-property rights in Texas.
With the 2016 election in the rearview mirror, this is when the real work begins. REALTOR® volunteers and ABoR, TAR, and NAR Government Affairs staff are looking ahead and what 2017 will bring. There has been much speculation on how the coming administrations (at all levels of governments) will impact real estate, but your associations will continue to work tirelessly to keep you informed about issues that impact the real estate industry and stand ready to support you and your business through any changes that may come.
Support your association’s efforts and stand up for the place we all call home! You’re invited to TREPAC’s annual wine tasting event on Thursday, February 23 at Crú Wine Bar at the Domain. Tickets are $65. Purchase yours today!
Disclaimer: Federal law prohibits soliciting from individuals who are not REALTORS® or ABoR members. Information disseminated in the public domain about TREPAC might be considered a solicitation, therefore investments received from non-REALTOR®/ABoR members through this online campaign will be returned.