Recap of 81st legislative session
How grassroots efforts and TREPAC helped your business
The Texas Association of REALTORS® is proud to be one of the few groups in the state
that had a successful session. We were able to pass most of our major priorities for the
session, while other industry groups struggled. It was stated early on that only groups
with strong grassroots efforts could be successful, and that’s exactly what happened.
The more than 1,000 Texas REALTORS® who came to the Capitol for the Hill Visits in
March, the strong legislative contact teams, the terrific association leadership, and a
strong TREPAC all contributed greatly to a session where private-property owners and
the real estate industry were winners. Here is what happened with a few of the
association’s top priorities:
All of the association-backed appraisal reforms passed, and Texans can expect to see
updated appraisal methods and better oversight of appraisal districts. Bills also passed
creating more enforcement authority over appraisal districts to ensure that uniform
standard appraisal practices are being used. Consumers will also find alternatives to
lawsuits when appealing a ruling by an appraisal review board. Also, a measure was
passed that allows a residence homestead to be appraised as a residence, not on the basis
of the “highest and best use” appraisal standard.
Business vehicle exemptions
Association-supported legislation was passed that provides that people who use their
personally owned automobile for both professional and personal use will only have to file
a property tax exemption form once for the vehicle. Previously, this form had to be filed
Sales price disclosure and real estate transfer taxes
The association stopped all proposals calling for mandatory sales-price disclosure and
taxes on real estate.
Your involvement plays a key role in protecting the future of the real estate industry. Part
of this involvement means investing in TREPAC. See how much money TREPAC has
saved you by using the new TREPAC calculator. Once you weigh the cost of harmful
legislation versus the savings TREPAC has provided, I think you will agree: TREPAC is
a sound business insurance policy.
Elizabeth James is the Central Texas Field Representative for the Texas Association of
REALTORS®. She can be reached at ejames@TexasRealtors.com or (512) 971-8334.