Texas Legislative Update:
As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, Texas REALTORS® is following 2,846 of 7,505 bills and resolutions filed.
3 new TREC commissioners appointed
Gov. Greg Abbott announced on March 12 the appointment of two Texas REALTORS® and a public member to the nine-member Texas Real Estate Commission, with terms expiring Jan. 31, 2025. Terms for the outgoing members expired Jan. 31, 2019.
- Texas REALTOR® Scott Kesner of El Paso, replacing Avis Wukasch
- Texas REALTOR® Barbara Russell of Denton, replacing Adrian Arriaga
- Public member Jason Hartgraves, replacing Chart Westcott
Next, the Senate Nominations Committee will need to confirm the appointments before moving them to the full Senate for confirmation.
TREC sunset review bills
Legislation in response to TREC’s sunset review has been filed in both chambers–SB 624 by Sen. Robert Nichols and HB 1675 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson. On March 12, the House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures had its first hearing on the TREC sunset bill.
Click here to watch video of the five-minute hearing–start at 25:46 to hear Chairman Charlie Geren lay out the bill on behalf of Rep. Thompson, followed immediately by Texas REALTORS® testimony in support of the legislation.
The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce heard SB 624 in a hearing today, March 19.
School finance bills released
The House Public Education Committee had an all-day hearing for HB 3 on March 12 and will take up the bill again today, March 19.
The Senate filed its school finance reform bill, SB 4 by Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor. The Texas Tribune reports on the Senate’s school finance bill.
Texas REALTORS® testifies on property tax reform bills
Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen have all made property tax reform one of their top priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature.
Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 are legislation that would reform the property tax system and encourage more transparency and voter engagement in the process local governments use to set tax rates that determine property tax bills.
Currently, the rollback rate is at 8% and voters may petition to hold an election if a local taxing entity (city, county, special district) sets a tax rate for the year that would generate 8% or more revenue than the previous year.
SB 2 and HB 2—as currently written—would lower the rollback rate to 2.5% and require local taxing entities to automatically seek voter approval if they set a tax rate that would generate 2.5% more revenue over the previous year … but there’s still a lot of debate ahead for these bills.
The Senate Property Tax Committee held its first meeting on February 6 and began hearing public testimony on SB 2.
Texas REALTORS® Chairman Tray Bates provided testimony to the Senate committee on behalf of the association. Chairman Bates advocated for reforming the property tax system that is leading to out-of-control increases in property tax bills across the state.
Click here to watch a recording of the hearing—skip ahead to 1:48:47 for Chairman Bates’ testimony.
The Senate Property Tax Committee ultimately approved the bill with all of Chairman Bates’ recommendations.:
- The bill requires the Comptroller’s office to develop appraisal manuals for CADs. Chairman Bates recommended that these manuals be consistent with generally accepted appraisal techniques and that a property owner be allowed to protest an appraisal that’s not performed accordingly.
- The bill creates special appraisal review board (ARB) panels to hear protests on complex property and allows an owner to request assignment to a special panel. The bill also authorizes the ARB chair to randomly assign other non-complex properties to the special panel. Chairman Bates recommended that this assignment only be performed with the property owner’s consent.
- The bill provides that an ARB may not increase a property’s value above the amount on the certified roll unless requested or agreed to by the property owner. Chairman Bates recommended expanding this to apply to binding arbitration and district court hearings.
On February 27, the House Ways & Means Committee held its first hearing on House Bill 2—the House’s property tax reform omnibus bill.
Chairman Bates testified on behalf of the association in support of the bill and recommended the same revisions that were addressed in SB 2.
Click here to watch his testimony in the House video archives—skip ahead to 03:33:55.
During the House hearing, committee member Sen. Trey Martinez Fischer ask Chairman Bates about mandatory sales-price disclosure. Texas REALTORS® opposes mandatory sales-price disclosure, as Chairman Bates explained.
The Texas Legislature has for years agreed and not advanced bills filed that would mandate that buyers disclose to the government how much they paid for properties. Learn more about Texas REALTORS®’ position on this issue in our Legislative Priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature at TexasRealEstate.com/issues.
Ways & Means Committee members have not yet voted on HB 2 or made amendments as of March 19, so the bill still awaits committee action before moving forward.
March Monthly Spotlight
Hey, Texas REALTORS®!
As a reminder, 2019 marks RPAC’s 50th Anniversary.
To help celebrate 50 years of fighting for Real Estate, we are asking everyone to bump up their Participation Club investment level to $50!
Fundraiser of the Month
This month’s TREPAC fundraiser comes from the Lubbock Association of REALTORS®! At “Bowling for TREPAC” participants were able to compete to find out which team was the King Pin!
Those who didn’t want to bowl, were still able to participate at $35 and enjoy fun, food, and drinks to help raise money for TREPAC.
Bowling tournaments are a great way to increase your participation with a fun event that doesn’t require a heavy lift on set up (unless you bowl with a 16 pounder)! Think about adding different ways to raise money at your own bowling tournament like a most strikes contest or team costume contest!
For more information on this month’s fundraiser of the month or other TREPAC Events, contact Eileen Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal Corner – Auctions & Alcohol
Texas law only allows TREPAC to auction alcoholic beverages in a TREPAC silent auction if a temporary auction permit is obtained from the local Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for the fundraising event. Advanced planning and close communications with Texas REALTORS® staff will be necessary in these situations.
The temporary form can be found at www.texasrealestate.com > For AEs > TREPAC Resources > TREPAC Alcohol Permit.
Please note: Each local TABC office requires a 10-day lead time to process applications, so please keep that in mind when completing your form.
TREPAC Video Contest
Lights, camera, action!
The TREPAC video contest is back by popular demand!
Submit your best TREPAC commercial by September 20 to enter the TREPAC Video Contest! Details will be coming soon, but you can start scripting and casting your video now.
Your video will be played and voted on at TREPAC/GA Orientation in October, then posted to YouTube to help local associations promote TREPAC.
So mark your calendars now!
Click here to view last year’s videos: http://www.trepac.com/videos/
The 1st quarter of our TREPAC year has ended and it’s time to audit your fundraising efforts to ensure your members are being recognized appropriately! Visit the AE Dashboard to view 2019 pledge information along with your current fundraising progress.
The AE Dashboard is a great tool specially designed to offer all the information AEs need to gather investment-level data and make 2019 an even better year!
“Once a Trustee, always a Trustee”
Are you a former TREPAC Trustee and want to be more involved?
Please let Leslie Cantu know if you’re interested in joining the Trustee Alumni Program! email@example.com
March 26th – REALTOR® Day at the Texas Capitol
Texas REALTORS® Building
1115 San Jacinto Blvd, Ste 200
Austin, TX 78701
- Texas Capitol visits, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Texas REALTORS® Open House, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Barbecue lunch at the Texas REALTORS® building, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Watch this video for highlights from the 2017 event. Contact your local association to participate.
Major Investor Events: Don’t forget, now is the time to start planning your MI Events for 2019 if you haven’t already done so. Our goal is to reach 1,196 Major Investors this year, so we can continue to have the most number of MI’s from across the country.
New Photos Available on Flickr!