TAR advocates for property-tax reform

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An exterior shot of the Texas Capitol

01/13/2017 | Author: Governmental Affairs Staff

Even before the 85th legislative session kicked off at the Texas Capitol on January 10, lawmakers had filed several bills aimed at reforming the property-tax process, including Senate Bill 2. 

The Texas Association of REALTORS® supports legislation that alleviates the pain of homeowners’ ever-increasing property-tax bills. 

In the Austin Business Journal, TAR Director of Legislative Affairs Daniel Gonzalez discussed Senate Bill 2 and explained why mandatory sales-price disclosure—which TAR has opposed for years—won’t fix the property-tax process. 

And in a segment on CBS Austin, Gonzalez explained why Texas property owners can be confused by the competing messages about rising appraised values and property-tax rates. 

Look for more coverage of TAR’s real estate advocacy efforts throughout the legislative session. 

Categories: Governmental Affairs
Tags: governmental affairs, legislative affairs, 85th texas legislature, property taxes


Tracy L Stanley on 01/21/2017

For Charlie Still and those interested in Senate Bill 2, here is link to a short version of the recommendations by Sen Bettencourt:

As a tax agent, I have had more than 600 residential ARB hearings in Tarrant County and many other CADs in Texas.  I have seen 1st hand the abuse that that many CADs do with our MLS Comps. The CADS will “cherry pick” the sales that justify the CAD new value, rather than reviewing ALL similar sales and then let the market value be determined.  As a result of cherry picking, I have NEVER supported the CADS having access to our sales file.
Likewise the required disclosure of sale price is not in the best interest of Realtors or the public. A reason is CADs are not able to understand what all is included in a closed price. Proposed HB 375 would require a 5% penalty to the grantor to “not disclose’ the sale price.
One of the primary functions of CADs is to determine the market value of taxable property. That definition is not the same as the definition an appraiser would use. And disclosure would be the shortcut CADs would use instead of a required calculation of uniform and equal approach.
Finally and most important, MLS sales of residential property allow the CAD to be more accurate for residential values vs commercial values. There is NO DEEMED RELIABLE , readily convenient source for commercial sales. Therefore commercial values are generally under market value. This means that the residential taxpayer is carrying more than his fair share of property tax.
We must protect our MLS sales. We must keep the CAD noses out of the tent.

Rick Kieffer on 01/20/2017

I have attended both School Board and City Council meetings and the “elected officials” do not listen to the taxpayers.  Term limits are needed on school board members we have one that has been on the board for over 30 years.  They just keep spending our money like no tommorrow and will bankrupt us over time.  Just because the home’s value went up 10% does not mean the cost of government went up by the same amount.  These people will not rein themselves in it has to be done at the state level.  I do not have a problem with disclosure as long as there is a cap on increasing taxes.  Many people are moving out of Texas because we have the 2nd highest property tax rate of states with no income tax.

Thomas J Wright on 01/20/2017

As we all know there is always going to be a give and take. Try as we might, it will be unfair on one side or the other. The best we can hope to achieve is what is best for the majority of the public.  I’m not sure most politicians would agree with me.

Bill Barton on 01/19/2017

Rodney I have to disagree with you on the disclosure. Without that sales price we don’t know if the home was priced well in the end or way off target. What value would we use to determine the listing price for comparable homes? That data is not available to the general public so the clients really should have nothing to fear.  Would they rather have their homes appraised by the state at the higher price the home may have been listed for?

Bobby Schwab on 01/19/2017

Gerald, amen to that. More people need to go and voice their opinion. Wish it would happen more than it does.

gerald waldon on 01/19/2017

The only way to stop spending at the school level is to attend school board meetings and take the few minutes allowed up front to say you are in favor of consolidating school districts unless spending for top heavy administration and brick and mortar projects are curtailed.

At city council meetings, tell them only infrastructure should be addressed with tax dollars. Hiring freeze until problems are resolved.

Guaranteed they will listen on your second visit.

Bobby Schwab on 01/19/2017

Leonard, I agree that the taxing entities will not do it. The legislature is going to have to change how entities set tax rates and spend $$. As for commercial values, you are absolutely correct! When a resort costs $500 Million to build but wants to be assessed at half or less then the appraisal districts need the $$ to go to court. The genie needs to be stuffed back in the bottle and permanently corked.

Leonard Schwartz on 01/19/2017

Bobby… clearly you are right BUT..  the bureaucracy is not going to self rein… theres no putting the genie back… maybe exempt the first $100k of property value and assess commercial and high end homes properly

Bobby Schwab on 01/19/2017

The problem is not the property tax system or the appraisal process. The problem is the unchecked spending by taxing entities. Namely the school districts. Until spending is reigned in, regardless of what bills are passed by the legislature, this problem will continue and it will grow worse.

Bob Sadler on 01/17/2017

The ever increasing property tax is very regressive in that the more modest income property owners pay a higher portion of their income to pay the (Home Owner) tax.
Also as residential rental property taxes increase, the landlord must increase rents or have less net income. Thus property tax increases are ultimately paid by renters.

Rodney D. Hetzel on 01/13/2017

In our Association to be a member of MLS it will get you a fine even if the Buyer/seller do not want sales price disclosed. We pay for MLS and they are dictating that we have to disclose price or be fined. ?????So the company we pay is setting our disclosure policy , and by our bylaws we are working for the client???Does not make sense to me, it benefits the appraiser! Comps you may say this is necessary but a few Non Disclosure of Price can’t hurt that much and the client /customer is happy. I have had three this last year that did no want price disclosed.

Leonard Schwartz on 01/13/2017

a state sales tax starting at maybe $100 thereby exempting groceries, lower priced goods, clothing… we really must do something about property taxes…

Gerald Waldon on 01/13/2017

The tax rates for property owners has continued to increase over the last decade to the point that some folks are moving out of town after a new school bond was approved. For me, I believe the property tax burden is too great for the property owners. Many that enjoy the city services or the new school football stadium are not the actual property owners. However, they have no problem complaining about rent prices.

I believe it would be worthwhile to have a consumption tax that could help pay for school and city and offset the entire burden now experienced by property owners.

In the meantime, I encourage people to attend the city council meetings and school board meetings to assure spending does not get out of control.

Charlie Still on 01/13/2017

Could some detail be given regarding what Senate Bill 2 proposes?

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