This survey is divided into pages by policy topic: business issues, infrastructure, land use, and taxation. Completing the entire survey will take between 15 and 25 minutes depending on level of feedback provided.
Texas REALTORS® supports creative solutions to help boost homebuying among lower-income Texans, such as the creation of a no- or low-interest revolving mortgage loan fund and public-private investment in housing supply.
The association supports legislation requiring HOAs and related nonprofit corporations to be registered entities with regulatory oversight (whether from their county or an agency of the State of Texas). Given the authority HOAs have over individual properties, such as lien and foreclosure ability, regulatory oversight is necessary to ensure proper due process and consumer protection.
The association supports extending certain consumer protections established in the Residential Property Owners Protection Act (Chapter 209 of the Texas Property Code) to condominium properties.
Texas REALTORS® supports firm timelines for producing HOA documents related to property sales, as well as reasonable and necessary fee limits.
Our association also supports legislation to eliminate the exemption for fees paid to 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 corporations from the transfer fee ban in the Texas Property Code.
Texas REALTORS® supports legislative efforts to ensure property owners in HOAs have a right to financial privacy, including limiting credit reporting.
Texas REALTORS® opposes the expansion of Property Assessed Clean Energy lending programs beyond what is currently allowed by Texas law.
Texas REALTORS® support legislation declaring that a municipality may not adopt or enforce a local law that expressly or effectively prohibits the use of a property as a short-term rental. These ordinances infringe on a property owner’s ability to rent their property without government intrusion. In addition, they are often duplicative, ineffective, and intrusive to owners and tenants of rental properties.
Further, Texas REALTORS® believes the right to rent is a fundamental part of the property rights bundle, and that municipalities should not limit property owners’ ability to lease their properties, regardless of lease term.
Sales Price Disclosure
Texas REALTORS® opposes any mandate to publicly disclose real estate sales prices. Our association also opposes the involuntary use of real estate sales prices to directly assess individual real property taxes.
Texas REALTORS® has a duty to protect the confidential data of our members and their clients, and therefore opposes any legislative attempts to force public or government access into proprietary multiple listing services.
Special Districts Disclosure
Texas REALTORS® supports easily accessible and transparent data related to property taxes and special district assessments so that property buyers and sellers have the most up-to-date and relevant information they need before entering into real property contracts.
Texas Real Estate Commission
Our association supports legislation that facilitates the administration of the commission and eliminates certain inefficient provisions in the law, when identified.
Our association supports the current title insurance consumer protections which ensure competitive rates and comprehensive coverages.
Wholesaling poses potential risk to consumers in real estate transactions. Therefore, Texas REALTORS® supports appropriate and timely disclosure to all parties involved in a real estate wholesale transaction.
Our association supports investment in skilled trades education, including public-private partnerships to streamline certification programs.
Critical first steps have been taken toward expansion of broadband infrastructure and services throughout Texas, especially in rural areas. Looking forward, Texas REALTORS® supports additional public and private investment in those technologies (including community needs assessments, physical infrastructure, and consumer training) paritcularly in the many areas that still have no or inadequate service. Adequate connectivity will make more communities viable for Texans.
Energy and Electricity
Reliable and resilient electricity and energy services are critical to the wellbeing of all Texans. Texas is and should continue to be a global leader in both oil and gas and renewable energy technologies. The legislature should continue to prioritize that multi-modal energy system that facilitates safe delivery of electricity and other energy services to residents and businesses, as well as innovative technologies that may add to the state’s overall energy supply without detracting from traditional sources.
Our association supports the development and funding of hospitals and health care in all parts of Texas, and especially in our rural communities.
Innovative telehealth treatment options allow for expedient and safe care to be provided to patients in areas with minimal facilities who cannot access in-person care. More areas of Texas will be sustainable if Texas makes every effort to support online health service options.
Investment in Infrastructure
Funding from the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act of 2021, coupled with optimistic state budget projections, provides Texas a unique opportunity to put significant financial investment in critical infrastructure such as water systems, roadways and transit, utility systems, and natural disaster resiliency.
The State of Texas must ensure its citizens the right to a safe and efficient transportation system. In doing so, the state must address numerous issues: congestion, capacity, construction and maintenance costs, safety, age and condition of roadways, the impact transportation delays have on air quality, cost of goods, and quality of life. Failing to pay for infrastructure needs will ultimately cost state taxpayers an extraordinary amount of money in the future.
Our association supports the following:
Our association supports the development and implementation of a broad range of flood mitigation technologies, such as flood warning systems, improved levies, and innovation in construction techniques.
We also support critical examinations of how our water sources are governed and accessed. This respects the geological aspects of watersheds and other waterways that are not necessarily limited by political boundaries and provides for adequate regional planning.
Confidence in our water supply is critical for the wellbeing of Texans, their communities, and businesses. Texas REALTORS® recognize that our existing infrastructure is aging, and we support timely investment in those systems to prevent failures that could harm residents and businesses. The association also supports exploration of innovative technologies to ensure that current and future Texans have consistent access to clean water services.
Texas REALTORS® acknowledge that property owners may wish to seek voluntary annexation by a nearby municipality, and we support an accessible and fair process for those property owners to use. In any annexation agreement, property owners deserve to be given clear information about the impacts of being annexed, such as financial or regulatory impacts, type of municipal services they may be provided, and the timeline for the delivery of those services.
Eminent Domain Authority
Significant improvements can be made to enhance protections of private-property rights for Texans. Our association supports legislation that:
Texas REALTORS® understands the need for local governments to conduct long-range growth planning to ensure that development is well-considered and that adequate infrastructure can be provided to residents and businesses. However, we are concerned about the current extent of municipal regulation in extra-territorial jurisdictions, as well as the conflicts that arise between cities and counties regarding regulation of properties in ETJs. Further, we are concerned about the lack of representation provided to property owners in ETJs; that is, they cannot participate in elections for the municipal representatives who are enacting and enforcing regulations on their properties.
Following the end of forced annexation in Texas in 2019, there is a need to reevaluate the use and effectiveness of ETJs and municipal land-use regulations in those areas. Texas REALTORS® supports a thorough analysis of ETJs to determine whether changes to that governing structure are warranted. This analysis should include a focus on protecting private property rights and ensuring property owners are receiving value from the local governments that regulate their properties.
Texas REALTORS® believes that property owners and potential buyers should be able to access all relevant and public information related to easements and other encumbrances by governmental or private entities on their property. We support strengthening provisions pertaining to the recording of irrigation districts’ encumbrances on real property by ensuring such information is recorded with the County Clerk in which the property is located.
Local Rulemaking Authority
Texas REALTORS® understands the objective to “preserve the general health, safety and welfare of persons residing in or adjacent to” municipalities, but that interest must not be seen as permission for any wholesale expansion of municipal rulemaking authority within those jurisdictions.
Texas REALTORS® supports the enforcement of laws designed to protect the property rights of landowners within ETJs or who consistently use their property for agricultural operations, such as Right-to-Farm laws. Our association believes property owners should be given clear information regarding their rights in these circumstances, as well as swift and simple pathways to recourse if those rights are violated.
Texas REALTORS® believes real property should be subject to uniform standards for development throughout the state. As such, our association supports full repeal of the Model Subdivision laws applicable to land within 50 miles of an international border.
Barring a full repeal of these laws, Texas REALTORS® supports modifications to the existing Model Subdivision standards to allow real property in a county within 50 miles of an international border to be legally transferred without fines or other penalty or fear of retribution, while still upholding the need to ensure such property has adequate utility connections for habitability. Modifications may include:
Further, property that is not saleable due to government restriction should be deemed to have no value for property tax purposes. Therefore, Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that states if a parcel of real property, subject to Model Subdivisions Laws and located in a county within 50 miles of an international border, is not improved and therefore is not marketable or saleable due to existing state or local regulations, then any appraised market value shall be fully exempted for ad valorem tax purposes only.
This exemption does not necessarily indicate the property is valueless when being assessed for public or private taking or other real property transfer.
Texas REALTORS® opposes efforts to reduce the property-tax appraisal cap from its current level of 10% because such stringent caps create inequalities in the tax burden and do not achieve property tax reductions for taxpayers. We also oppose the imposition of an appraisal cap on commercial properties.
Central Appraisal Districts
Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that would increase state oversight of central appraisal districts and appraisal review boards, including added transparency around mass appraisal methods for residential and commercial real property, and business property taxes.
Our association opposes any changes to the “equal and uniform” appraisal laws, which ensure property owners are treated fairly during the ad valorem appraisal process.
Texas REALTORS® opposes the election of chief appraisers and appraisal review board members, as elections would politicize the appraisal process. Chief appraisers were intentionally made appointed officials during the historic property tax reforms of 1979 and 1981 just for this reason.
Our association supports repealing or reducing the three-year “rollback” tax collection imposed when land that has qualified for agricultural appraisal changes use to non-agricultural purpose.
Texas REALTORS® supports the exploration and adoption of alternative revenue sources dedicated to lessening the reliance on property taxes without increasing the overall tax burden on Texas taxpayers.
Policymakers should be mindful that property taxes not only impact property owners, but also impact renters, and that property tax increases may disproportionately impact people of lower and fixed incomes. Careful consideration, along with transparency and public input, should be given to any budgetary or policy change that requires funding through property tax revenue.
Texas REALTORS® supports continued monitoring of the implementation of law changes that resulted from passage of the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, and a case-by-case evaluation of minor modifications to those statutes that may be deemed appropriate and necessary.
Sales Tax on Real Estate Services
Our association steadfastly opposes efforts to expand the sales tax base to include professional services. Furthermore, the association believes any taxing structure should not place an undue burden on the real estate industry or hamper the Texas economy.
Sales Tax on Real Estate Transfers
Texas REALTORS® has conducted exhaustive, multi-year studies on local property taxes and believes applying sales tax to real estate is a short-sighted and flawed approach to property-tax relief. Reducing property taxes with another tax does not achieve the true property tax reform that our state’s taxpayers deserve. Not only would adding real estate to the sales tax base destroy the state’s real estate economy, but it would also disproportionately affect lower- and middle-class Texans.