• Contact your local association to register for the 2011 Texas REALTORS® Hill Visits on April 12
• The Texas Association of REALTORS® is tracking 2,463 bills this session—over 40 percent of the bills that have been filed.
• Download the Texas Association of REALTORS® legislative priorities handbook
DTPA set for hearing
SB 1353, the bill that would exempt real estate brokerage from liability under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, is set for hearing in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee next Wednesday.
The committee is chaired by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas).
Bright and early …
Monday morning, association staff testified to the House Business and Industry Committee in favor of HB 8—the bill that would largely eliminate private transfer fees on real estate transactions.
The association’s testimony finished quickly, but the balance of the three-hour meeting was consumed by witnesses on both sides of the proposed legislation.
The bill remains pending.
Mortgage-interest deduction—call for action coming
As you may have heard, federal lawmakers are considering rescinding the mortgage-interest deduction. Be on the lookout March 28—NAR will issue an all-member call for action.
This call for action will ask REALTORS® to contact their House members and urge them not to touch mortgage-interest deductions in any legislative or budget proposal.
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee, on an 18-7 party-line vote, advanced the next state budget this morning, sending HB 1 to the full House.
The bill calls for $164.5 billion in spending—about $23 billion less than state officials say they need to maintain current services.
The non-partisan Legislative Budget Board predicts that House version of the 2012-2013 state budget would result in 272,000 fewer jobs in Texas the first year and 335,000 fewer in 2013.
In this video segment, the Texas Tribune reports that the Senate may be willing to spend a little more than the House and also examines the effect the House proposals would have on employment in the state.
Will 90 eliminate 80? Not if Texas REALTORS® can help it …
HJR 90 by Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) proposes amending the Texas Constitution to eliminate the 80 percent loan-to-value ratio for refinancing home equity loans.
The 80 percent LTV restriction is the number one protection that Texan homeowners enjoy. It ensures market stability and is one of the primary reasons Texas avoided the housing crisis suffered by many other states, like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.
The association staunchly opposes HJR 90 and is leading the testimony against the resolution on Monday morning in the House Business and Industry Committee.
Trouble in Parker County
According to one homeowner, his water is so contaminated with gas, it can be lit on fire.
This illustrates the delicate balance between energy production, economic development, private-property rights, and groundwater conservation.
In a related story, the Texas Tribune takes a look at HB 3328, a recently filed piece of legislation by Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) that would require disclosure of drilling chemicals used in natural-gas wells.
Last week, a new section of Legislative Liaison, called Just Ask!, debuted. Here’s the first installment …
Reader question: In your publication and others, I sometimes see the term fiscal note ... what does that mean?
Liaison answer: In this context, “fiscal note” refers to the fiscal impact a given bill will have on the state’s budget—a negative fiscal note means the proposed legislation would cost the state money. A positive fiscal note means the new law would add dollars to the state’s general revenue fund.
Given the current state of the Texas budget, legislation with a negative fiscal note is much less likely to pass.
Got a question about something you read in the Legislative Liaison? Send it in ... answers will appear in next week's edition. Not all questions can be answered and submissions may be edited for clarity and length.
From around the Web …
According to TexasAhead.org, total sales-tax collections for February 2011 are up 9.7 percent from February 2010. This marks the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The site is published by Comptroller Combs and offers insight into the Texas economy.
Read an interesting blog post comparing the political climates of 1994 and 2010
Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about home-ownership in general, I encourage you to check out a couple of great online resources: http://www.texasrealestate.com/ or http://www.har.com/. And for all of your Pearland, TX and Northern Brazoria and Galveston County real estate needs, please visit my site at: http://www.danfrankrealty.com. All of these sites offer tons of useful, real estate-related information geared specifically for Texans.
Remember, Danny Frank is a local Pearland, TX Real Estate expert! You can see my entire blog at: http://www.pearlandrealtyblog.com