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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           April 07, 2015

 



Experts discuss safety of homes when it comes to severe weather
KXAN-TV
The Texas State Collaborative is bringing together experts to address the safety of homes in Central Texas, especially when it comes to being prepared for severe weather. The meeting consists of stakeholders, building code officials, insurance agents, builders and homeowners associations. Major topics included the trend in changing building codes, a legislative discussion on resiliency measures and a focus on strategies to increase public awareness and consumer support for mitigation.
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Texas Senate bills aimed at unauthorized immigrants stir emotions
The Dallas Morning News
Republican senators, bowing to supporters of a hard-line stance on immigration, took up two divisive bills to erase what some see as lenient policies that threaten border security. One would repeal a law that allows some students who are in the country illegally to pay in-state college tuition. The other would target "sanctuary cities" by barring local rules that prevent police from asking the immigration status of people they stop.
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GOP gun measures could backfire with minorities
The Texas Tribune via WFAA-TV
As Republican state lawmakers move forward with legislation that would make it easier for Texans to carry guns openly, and in more places, they risk alienating black and Hispanic Texans who oppose looser gun laws at higher rates than whites. Roughly half of Hispanics and blacks support stricter gun control laws, compared with 29 percent of whites, according to a February poll by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune. For some, the GOP's allegiance to the gun measures highlights Republicans' ongoing challenge to balance the priorities of the party's far-right faction with its outreach to minority voters.
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Gallego seeks rematch with Hurd for Congress
San Antonio Express-News
A rematch is on in a west Texas congressional district that has gone back and forth between the parties in the past three elections. Former congressman Pete Gallego, a Democrat from Alpine, announced that he will run in 2016 to reclaim the U.S House seat he lost in November by 2,500 votes to San Antonio Republican Will Hurd.
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New project examines the state of water in West Texas
Midland Reporter-Telegram
As the drought continues, many Texans and Texas lawmakers are beginning to reconsider how state laws should govern water management. Several water marketing companies have launched efforts to pump, transport and sell water from underground aquifers beneath smaller communities to the Texas cities whose growth has outstripped their own water resources. But many of these smaller communities have put their foot down in fear of how overpumping might disrupt their status quo.
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DFW's rainy weather dampens home starts 22 percent despite strong sales
Dallas Business Journal
Dallas-Fort Worth's rainy weather has dampened home construction in the first quarter of 2015 — leading to a 22 percent decline year-over-year — with only 5,740 homes getting started in the quarter compared with 7,375 homes in the first quarter of 2014. But the demand for new homes in North Texas has remained strong, said Ted Wilson, a principal at Dallas-based Residential Strategies Inc., which analyzes the Dallas-Fort Worth single-family home market.
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Water ruling cuts state's power in droughts
The Texas Tribune
A state appeals court has sided with farmers, ranchers and other longstanding water rights holders in a Brazos River case with widespread implications for future water battles in drought-prone Texas. Upholding a lower court's ruling, the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi ruled that Texas cannot give special treatment to cities or power generators over more "senior" water rights holders on parched rivers — even if the state declares it necessary to protect the "public health, safety and welfare."
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FitchRatings affirms Austin homes highly overvalued; downplays talk of housing bubble
Austin Business Journal
FitchRatings is sticking by its analysis that Austin is the most overvalued market in the country for housing prices. In December 2014, FitchRatings raised the ire of local economists and real estate professionals by reporting that Austin homes were collectively overvalued by 20 percent— the highest in the country with Houston and San Antonio close behind. In FitchRatings' latest first quarter 2015 report, Austin homes are overvalued by 19 percent. The report assumes Austin's home value spikes are driven by growth and aren't necessarily reflective of an imminent housing bubble.
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Major development booked in area south of Pearland
Houston Chronicle
The developer envisions upscale homes — thousands of them, some with price tags approaching $750,000 — and "unprecedented" amenities to boot. His dream is to turn a lightly populated stretch some 20 miles south of downtown into a suburban refuge to be called Meridiana, promising respite for workers toiling in the Texas Medical Center or thriving coastal communities like Lake Jackson or Freeport.
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1,800 homes planned for new development between Prosper, Celina
Dallas Business Journal
Carrollton-based Centurion American Development plans to build a new 1,800-home project between Prosper and Celina in Denton County. The development will be called Sutton Fields. It is the latest in a series of residential developments in the area around Celina and Prosper.
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Texas property taxes among the nation's highest
Houston Chronicle
While Texas has no state income tax and no property tax on vehicles, its residents pay one of the nation's highest rates when it comes to taxes on real estate. According to WalletHub, a personal finance website, Texans this year are paying an average of $3,327 in real estate taxes. It's the fifth highest amount in the United States and 59 percent higher than the average American household's real estate property tax bill of $2,089.
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