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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jul. 2, 2013

TAB News Briefs
Jul. 2, 2013
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Redistricting, redone by lawmakers, goes back to judges
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The state's redistricting litigation entered a new phase, with lawyers and three federal judges figuring out what to do now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a key law unconstitutional and the Texas Legislature has approved new maps. A panel of federal judges denied the state's request to dismiss the case, though they left open the possibility that they could do that later. And they asked lawyers to file briefs on what should happen next. More

Texas Senate convenes, calls recess
KXAS-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst gaveled in the chamber shortly after 2 p.m. and by 2:30 p.m. a recess was called. The Senate began with Dewhurst warning that anyone making outbursts in the gallery would be removed. Soon after, a short discussion was had after Democrat Sen. Royce West inquired about parliamentary procedure regarding which clock in the chamber was the official clock and if there was a procedure for disputes about the actual time. More

Editorial: HB 4 will help secure Texas' future by meeting its future water needs
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas is famous throughout our nation and around the world for its oil, but the Lone Star State has long needed to start focusing more of its attention and resources on another precious liquid — water. Our state has needed legislation such as this session's House Bill 4, and we are thankful it was passed and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. The legislation lays the foundation for meeting future water needs of the state in several important ways: More


Lawmakers consider higher sales tax to pay off transportation debt
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the abortion debate grabs global headlines in the Texas Legislature, the issue of how to pay for the state's roads — and retire nearly $18 billion in transportation debt — remains unsolved. As a second special session began, lawmakers were poised to take action again on a proposal to add roughly $900 million annually for transportation projects through the state's rainy-day fund. Although legislators convened and promptly recessed, transportation is expected to be among the first items they'll tackle when they return to Austin. More

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Austin area home starts soar 32 percent in 2nd quarter
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Central Texas home starts continued to surge in the second quarter as builders began construction on 2,650 homes, a 32 percent increase year-over-year, figures show. The increase bumped the annual starts tally to 9,027 homes in the 12 months that ended in June, a 38 percent increase from the previous 12 months, according to Metrostudy, which tracks the numbers. More

Hot Texas markets draw homebuilders
HousingWire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It seems the Dallas-Fort Worth area housing market is luring many national home builders to the area. At least that's what Phil Crone, executive officer at the Dallas Builders Association, claimed. "Obviously home builders are going to flock to where the population growth and, more specifically, job growth is," Crone said. "And the job growth is certainly as strong here in Dallas as it is anywhere in the country." More

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West expected to get state aid to rebuild ailing infrastructure after explosion
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In January, three months before the members of West's volunteer fire department would face the biggest conflagration they had ever seen, their town's last working water well conked out. So when the local fertilizer plant caught fire April 17, West had only half its normal supply of water, every drop piped from Lake Waco 15 miles away. More

Comptroller's office offers vital resource for business owners looking for answers to their state tax questions
Office of the Texas Comptroller    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the month of July, the Comptroller's office will conduct 16 free taxpayer seminars across the state. At these seminars, taxpayers can learn how to properly fill out tax forms, and file and pay taxes electronically. Information about e-services will also be available to help taxpayers manage their accounts online. Comptroller representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance to attendees. More

Green homes, green fleets: Texas builders use clean propane in construction and on the road
Marketwired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Builders across the state of Texas already utilize propane in green building, offering customers the option of clean, efficient propane gas for water heating, cooking, home heating and standby generators. However, many Texas builders are just discovering the benefits of powering their own vehicle fleets on clean-burning propane autogas. More

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Run-up in mortgage rates raises questions about housing recovery
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mortgage rates have zoomed a full percentage point above their recent record lows, raising costs for borrowers and questions about the housing recovery. Although still low by historic standards, the increased rates have put a damper on a home refinancing boom and will make buying a home noticeably more expensive for borrowers. What's more, some experts say, the rapid run-up could pose a threat to consumer confidence, delivering a blow to the recovering housing markets and even beyond. More

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Luxury condos hit the market in recession's aftermath
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Verdance was Marshall Durrett's first major multifamily project — 16 high-end units on a sloping, lush lot in Austin. "We were done in 2008 and there was just no market for condo sales. That market had completely disintegrated," Durrett said. In desperation, Durrett managed to lease the units, which included four three-bedroom townhouses, six two-bedroom townhouses and six one-bedroom flats. More

Builders to Congress: Bill would ease regulatory burdens on small businesses
National Association of Home Builders    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Association of Home Builders urged Congress to support bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., John Barrow, D-Ga., Tom Graves, R-Ga., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, that would ease regulatory burdens on small businesses. Testifying on behalf of NAHB before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, Kansas builder Carl Harris said that the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 is critical to provide regulatory relief to small businesses burdened my onerous and excessive regulations. More

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3 SmartTouch Interactive clients win 4 awards from Texas Association of Builders 2013 Star Awards
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blackburn Communities Preserve at Mayfield Ranch, MileStone Community Builders and Ash Creek Homes are Winners of Texas Association of Builders 2013 Marketing Star Awards SmartTouch Interactive, an interactive real estate marketing agency and real estate CRM software development company, announced that three of its clients have won awards at the Texas Association of Builders 2013 Star Awards. More
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