Keep up with what’s happening in the Texas rental housing industry

TAA Legislative Update: March 20, 2017

Synopsis

Catch up with what legislators will be considering this week, and how it may affect you.


Coming up this week:

  • The Texas Senate may vote on SB 2, by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), this week. The bill, which the Texas Apartment Association supports, would lower the property tax rollback rate from 8 percent to 4 percent and trigger an automatic election to authorize any tax rate higher than 4 percent. The bill also establishes expert panels to hear appraisal district appeals involving complex properties, and requires more consistent practices by appraisal districts.
  • The House Business and Industry Committee is holding a public hearing Monday on a number of bills concerning the minimum wage. TAA is monitoring this legislation.
  • The House Business and Industry Committee will also consider HB 577 by Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin), which prohibits local ordinances that prevent or limit employers from considering an applicant’s or employee’s criminal history. TAA supports this legislation.

TAA’s affirmative legislation:

  • TAA’s affirmative legislation package is moving through the process. Bills have been introduced, and the water billing (SB 873/HB 1964), late fees (SB 921/HB 1821) and municipal fees (SB 737/HB 1557) bills have been referred to committee. The emotional support animal bill (HB 3229) is still pending a referral to committee.
  • The water billing legislation (SB 873 by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe) may be considered by the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs Committee in the next two weeks.
  • In addition to our affirmative legislation, the Texas Apartment Association is also tracking more than 500 bills this session. These bills cover a variety of issues, but each could have some impact on the Texas rental housing industry. TAA monitors these bills with your interests in mind. Check back next week for a quick guide to the top “other issues” we’re following this session.
  • Keep up with TAA’s legislative agenda and the current status of TAA-supported legislation by visiting the Legislative Issues  page of www.taa.org.

In the news:

  • The House Public Education Committee is expected to consider legislation next week looking at how the state finances its public schools. The state’s so-called “Robin Hood” public school finance system has been challenged in court many times, though the Texas Supreme Court recently upheld it as constitutional, if flawed. School property taxes usually take the biggest bite out of a property’s overall tax bill, so TAA will monitor this issue and study how any proposals might impact your properties.
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