Industry News

Texas pursues appraisal, tax reform

Sale-price disclosure debate boils

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Worries about rising property taxes in Texas are fueling a wave of legislative proposals to reform the appraisal process and open up real estate price information to the public. A state Task Force on Appraisal Reform, launched by Gov. Rick Perry, reported this year that property taxes grew from a total levy of about $9 billion in 1985 to about $30 billion in 2004, and high property taxes have driven some residents to sell their homes and move out of the state because of increases in appraised values. "Texas homeowners and other property owners have told our task force that property taxes in Texas have become so burdensome as to become almost oppressive," the report states. "Property owners tell us that something must be done to fix this broken system -- and that it must be done quickly." One of the most contentious issues in the appraisal reform debate is the disclosure of real estate sale-price information. Texas is one of a slim minority of states that are considered nondi...