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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Apr. 9, 2013


TAB News Briefs
Apr. 9, 2013
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Construction workers switching to oil and gas industry, Texas builders chief says
Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although the state's home building industry remains strong, it is feeling the effects of construction workers shortage, said Texas Association of Builders President Eddie Martin. Martin, an Abilene Christian University graduate, spoke during a luncheon at the Abilene Country Club hosted by the Big Country Home Builders Association. Construction continues its growth in the Midland-Odessa area mainly due to oil and gas production. Martin added that "the Eagle Ford Shale in San Antonio also is driving that and of course over in the Houston area." More



House, Senate take up legislation reauthorizing Railroad Commission
Midland Reporter-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas legislators have begun consideration of legislation designed to reauthorize the Railroad Commission under Sunset Review. The House Energy Resources Committee held a hearing recently and the Texas Senate is expected to take up the issue. The review is required of each state agency. The Railroad Commission underwent review by the Sunset Advisory Commission in 2011 but legislation containing recommendations made by the Sunset Review Commission staff failed. More
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Texas home prices fare well in February
San Antonio Business Journal via Real Estate Center Online News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
February was a sweet month for home prices locally, as well as across Texas and the United States. Home prices in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area rose 7.3 percent between February 2012 and 2013, according to data from CoreLogic. The Alamo City wasn't alone. More

IRS grading taxpayer 'home work'
Real Estate Center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taxpayers claiming a home office deduction should make sure their "home work" is in order before turning in their assignment to the Internal Revenue Service for grading. "A home office needs to be used on a regular basis," said Dr. Jerrold Stern, research fellow with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and professor of accounting at Indiana University. "Incidental or occasional use is not sufficient." More

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Hector Rivero: Not lowering academic bar but better preparing students for workforce
Abilene Reporter-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House Bill 5 is not an effort to weaken academic rigor, as some have suggested. Instead, the legislation reflects a clear understanding of what students need to succeed in today's job market. Texas can and should provide options for students without retreating at all on high standards. In fact, these bills would spur school districts to create challenging, up-to-date course offerings that better prepare students to lead a Texas economy that is changing rapidly. More

Combs reminds businesses of April 15 deadline for filing property tax renditions
Window on State Government    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has reminded business owners that April 15 is the deadline to file property tax renditions with their county appraisal districts. To render is to list the taxable inventory, furniture and fixtures, machinery and equipment and other property a business owned or managed as of Jan. 1. The appraisal district may use the information to set property values. "Rendition helps the appraisal district appraise property fairly and accurately," Combs said. "If some businesses are not paying their fair share of property tax, it places a greater tax burden on other business owners and homeowners." More

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Can housing power the economic recovery?
TIME    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Economic recoveries usually begin at home. Even though the housing construction has historically only accounted for roughly 5 percent of America’' economic activity, that number tends to rise following recessions, placing a disproportionate burden on the housing sector to lead the economy to recovery. Why is this? There are several reasons. More

Getting serious about a Texas-size drought
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The drought that has gripped much of Texas since the fall of 2010 shows few signs of abating soon. The latest forecasts say that parched West and South Texas will remain dry, and that the state is likely to see above-average temperatures this spring, increasing evaporation from already strained reservoirs. The conditions could lead to severe water restrictions in some parts of the state. The implications have finally sunk in among lawmakers and business leaders here, who like to boast about the economic appeal of Texas' low taxes and relaxed regulatory environment: No water equals no business. More



Google Fiber is officially coming to Austin
Engadget    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hear that? It's Austin, being weird enough to add yet another reason to live within its city limits. As rumored, Google Fiber will be rolling down to one of Texas' most esteemed towns in the near future, joining the Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri metro as the only locales (so far) in the United States offering the outfit's Fiber-based TV, phone and 1Gbps broadband services. More

An anti-voucher message, but implications unclear
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate lawmakers will hear the details of two tax credit scholarship programs that House members intended to prohibit when they passed a budget amendment last week aimed at banning private school vouchers. Though the political sentiment behind the House's vote is clear — it sailed through 103-43 last week, and five lawmakers have since changed the record to say they intended to vote in favor — it is less obvious whether it would preclude the tax credit scholarship bills up for consideration before the Senate Education Committee. More

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Bill taps saltwater study for state
Corpus Christi Caller-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the water session that has been the 83rd Texas Legislature, no options are off the table, including finding a way to make use of salty water. Hence, state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, has put forward House Concurrent Resolution 59. The bill requests "the speaker and lieutenant governor to create a joint interim committee to study seawater desalination on the Texas coast." Hunter is joined by state Reps. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown, and J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, also coastal representatives. More

Texas roads paved with taxes, tolls and debt
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Voters want things. And politicians — officeholders, especially — are responsive to voters. Cranky people stuck in traffic are not happy people, and they pass their unhappiness along to those who represent them. Those same voters, in many cases, have already expressed unhappiness to those responsive and able officeholders about some other things, too — things that, in politics, might get somebody's mouth washed out with soap: Taxes, debt and tolls. More

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Cornyn, McCaul to introduce border security measure
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Doubling down on their vows to focus on border security before considering immigration reform, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, will file legislationthat will further scrutinize how well the federal government protects the U.S.-Mexico border. A Cornyn aide said the Border Security Results Act will "lay down a marker for what must be done on the border security front before we can reform our broken immigration system." More



Home buyers need relief from the state
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a disastrous experience with the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which ended in the agency being abolished, the Legislature has done little to address consumer and builder concerns that prompted the agency's creation. Several bills have been introduced this session in an attempt to level the playing field between home buyers and home builders, but the measures face an uphill battle in a Legislature where lobbyists and big contributors have extraordinary clout. More

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Proposed 'lemon law' for new homes would only cover vets
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Proponents of a statewide lemon law for new houses have lowered their sights, pushing legislation limited to honorably discharged veterans whose homes are defective. House Bill 1887, the Texas Veteran Homebuyer Protection Act, would require builders to buy back their homes at full price if major problems are reported within 10 years of the original purchase and cannot be remedied in three repair attempts. Legislators in several previous sessions have declined to make Texas the first state in the nation with a lemon law on new homes. More
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