Campaign & Platform Questions

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Municipal Candidate Questionnaire

Creating a budget and adopting a property tax rate to support that budget are major functions of locally elected officials in Texas. In simple terms, Texans have seen skyrocketing property tax bills due to rapid increases in appraised value. In addition, over the last decade, many local taxing jurisdictions have seen their budgets increase over 60%, far outpacing the rate of inflation and population growth. Some taxing entities assert that if they lower tax rates, but taxpayers’ overall bills go up due to an increase in the appraised value of the property, this does not constitute a property tax increase. If a property owner’s tax bill goes up, does that constitute a tax increase?
The State of Texas does not require the disclosure of sales prices for real property transactions. However, for many years, many local governments and central appraisal districts (CADs) have argued in favor of mandating such disclosure. Realtor® Associations have long argued against. Would you be in favor of any proposed legislation to mandate the disclosure of the sales price of commercial and residential real estate transactions?
Several cities across Texas have undertaken excessively restrictive measures on rental property in their communities in an effort to monitor landlords and generate local fee driven revenues through rental property. Some cities require the registration and/or inspection of rental property. Many cities have increased permitting requirements or changed Certificate of Occupancy rules. Many cities have begun to charge subsequent fees associated with these measures. Would you oppose proposals to enact a rental registration or rental property inspection fee?
Short-term rentals, or vacation rentals, are typically defined as those less than 30 days and no more than 90 days in a calendar year. These are typically single family homes in neighborhoods of cities that are desirable to their visitors. Some cities have banned the short-term rental use in their local development or zoning codes and others have licensed the use under specific parameters or guidelines. Such registration programs can be required for all short-term-rental owners or may be limited to those owners who exclusively rent their properties as an investment. Would you support or oppose banning Short-term Rental use in your city?
What is your opinion on the use of eminent domain and in what instances should a local government utilize the power of eminent domain?
Currently, local taxing jurisdictions have the ability to grant local property owners an exemption for their homesteads. Do you favor the local homestead exemption for your taxing jurisdiction as a way of providing property tax relief?
Currently, Texas has a 10% cap on the increase in Assessed Values for residential homesteads. Several proposals in the Texas Legislature would artificially cap property appraisals at 3% or 5% annually. Further, some of these proposals would allow local-option elections that would allow for appraisal caps on a local level. Do you support an artificial lowering of the cap on appraisals at the state level?
Some city councils have proposed to mandate certain energy-efficiency upgrades in residential properties which must be completed and certified prior to the sale of the property. These mandates would require all properties to be retrofitted to meet the standards of the mandates costing sellers thousands of dollars. If elected, would you support efforts to impose mandatory energy-efficiency upgrades in existing housing?
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