Bills Will Cap Property Appraisals

Legislation designed to slow the pace of rising property taxes is now the law. Texas Governor Rick Perry put his signature on two bills that will monitor property appraisal districts and provide homestead exemptions for disabled veterans. Pat Hernandez has the story.

Legislation signed by Governor Perry at the offices of the Houston Association of Realtors, will provide additional oversight for the appraisal process. It also grants a total exemption for the homes of disabled veterans. Perry says property taxes are [not just] an economic issue, but affect the value of property ownership and individual rights that go along with that.

"That's why we continuously worked to improve our property tax system, placing our faith in the proven tools of greater transparency, increased accountability and tight reins on government growth at every level."

Under HB 8, central appraisal districts will undergo a review of appraisal standards by the state controller every two years. That ensures they follow standard appraisal procedures and practices. Houston state Senator Dan Patrick says it will help reduce the level of unfair appraisals by cities, counties and school districts.

"I call it taxation without representation through appreciation, and the appreciation does not always jive with reality, and it has to stop!"

The other measure, HB 3613, ensures that a home's market value is based on the property's use as a home, and nothing else. Senator Patrick says the bill also grants veterans with a service related disability a homestead exemption for the total value of their home.

"They're ready to get back in life and so, what this bill will do, will help those who are most severely injured have a helping hand in being able to afford a home. That's the least we can do." 

image of Unidentified realtor, Houston state senator Dan Patrick and Vickie Fullerton, chairwoman of the Houston Association of Realtors

Vicki Fullerton chairs the board of directors of the Houston Association of Realtors.

"This is gonna help us communicate with our buyers and sellers about the processes and about what is going to happen to their values going forth."

PH: "These are barriers that are now coming down which is going to bode well for the business."

Fullerton:  "It is gonna bode well for the business but more importantly, it's going to show the power of the realtors and the consumers when they get involved, get behind an issue and work with our legislators across the aisles, to do what's right for Texas."

Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...