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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Jul. 30, 2013

TAB News Briefs
Jul. 30, 2013
TAB Quick Links >    Home     Education     Legislative     Publications     Calendar     Sunbelt Builders Show     Resources

Transportation funding bill fails in House
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A months-long effort to pass a controversial measure to boost transportation funding fell 16 votes short in the Texas House, dooming its chances in the current special session and setting the stage for Gov. Rick Perry to make good on a threat to call a third one. Tempers flared in both chambers Monday during debate on the two pieces of legislation, House Joint Resolution 2 and House Bill 16, that implemented a plan to raise about $900 million a year for the Texas Department of Transportation. More

3rd special session? Maybe, but it won't be one for the record books
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It may seem like the Texas Legislature has become an Austin fixture, since they've been in Austin almost continuously since January. Assuming lawmakers don't pass highway funding legislation, and if Gov. Rick Perry calls them back into a third special session as he has promised, lawmakers could be in Austin another 30 days. For more of, as state Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, calls it, "the summer of Camp Perry." More

Setting the record straight on the mortgage interest deduction
National Association of Home Builders    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the Senate examines existing tax policies as part of its "blank slate" approach to tax reform, and as the House Ways and Means Committee continues its review of the tax code, it is appropriate to keep in mind the importance of the mortgage interest deduction as a middle-class tax provision that makes it possible for many families to achieve homeownership. It is also useful to review some of the claims against the MID to determine if those claims are valid. Economists at the National Association of Home Builders have analyzed data from the IRS and the Census Bureau, as well as estimates from other sources, to assess the validity of these claims. More


New law attempts to curb payroll fraud in construction projects
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five construction workers labored for weeks at a federally funded, multi-housing project, expecting a paycheck at the end of each week. But as each Friday rolled around, the drywallers on the $31 million Buckeye Trail Commons project went home without one. The men likely will never get paid. More

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Rising mortgage rates lead to drop in pending home sales
Austin Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pending home sales dropped in June thanks to rising mortgage rates, according to the National Association of Realtors. The organization's Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contract signings, dipped 0.4 points to 110.9 in June. The good news is that's still a strong number — 10.9 points higher than it was a year ago. Plus, May's pending sales were the highest they'd been since December 2006, so a slight dropoff in June was expected. More

Texas oilman, fracking pioneer Mitchell dies at 94
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Billionaire Texas oilman, developer and philanthropist George P. Mitchell, considered the father of fracking, died at his home in Galveston, his family said. He was 94. Mitchell, the son of a Greek immigrant who ran a dry cleaning business in Galveston, became one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. He is considered the chief pioneer of hydraulic fracturing, the now common industry process known as fracking that uses chemicals with water under high pressure to crack open rock formations and release oil and natural gas. More

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5th suspicious fire set in Frisco neighborhood
WFAA-TV via KHOU-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A suspicious early morning fire Thursday marks the fifth in Frisco's Grayhawk Subdivision since May 20. The tone from officials is growing in urgency — Frisco's fire and police chiefs joined Mayor Maher Maso at the Frisco Fire Department to appeal to residents to call police regarding any suspicious activity they observe in the area. Of the five suspicious fires, two involved homes under construction, one happened at an unoccupied home that was for sale, and another was a vehicle fire. Frisco Fire Chief Mark Piland declined to comment on whether the department had any leads or whether they're even connected. More

TxDOT plans to convert some roads to gravel
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Citing a funding shortfall and the impact of a historic oil drilling boom, Texas Department of Transportation officials announced plans to move forward with converting some roads in West and South Texas to gravel. Approximately 83 miles of asphalt roads will be torn up and converted to "unpaved" roads, TxDOT Deputy Executive Director John Barton said. The speed limits on those roads will probably be reduced to 30 mph. More

Feds seek to restore voting law restrictions on Texas
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Justice will ask a federal court to require Texas to seek permission before the state can change its election laws, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech to the National Urban League. Holder told the group that the Texas Legislature was found to have intentionally discriminated when it drew congressional and legislative redistricting maps in 2011 and suggested that that evidence should be enough to subject the state to a "bail in" provision in the federal Voting Rights Act. More

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US labor department's OSHA heat campaign aims to prevent heat illness for outdoor workers in Texas
KOSA-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Temperatures in the many Texas cities are expected to be very hot. Extreme heat can have extreme consequences — heat stress, dehydration, heat stroke, death — for those who work outdoors, like construction and agricultural workers. OSHA launched a public awareness campaign to inform both workers and employers of heat hazards and safeguards. More

Best in American Living Awards
National Association of Home Builders    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply now for the 2013 Best in American Living Awards. Winners will be announced Feb. 5, 2014 at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. More

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Housing markets where cash is king
CNNMoney    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you want to buy a house in Nevada you better bring cash. In June, 58% of the sales in the state were made in all-cash, according to a report by RealtyTrac. But it's not just Nevada. All-cash deals in Florida comprised 57 percent of home sales during the month; in the state of New York, it was 51 percent, and in Vermont, a whopping 80 percent. In markets like these, lingering foreclosures and depressed home prices are attracting private equity firms and other investors looking to buy before home prices go much higher, RealtyTrac said. More

Big-name GOP donors urge members of Congress to back immigration overhaul
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 100 Republican donors — many of them prominent names in their party's establishment — sent a letter to Republican members of Congress on urging them to support an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. The letter, which calls for "legal status" for the 11 million immigrants here illegally, begins with a simple appeal: "We write to urge you to take action to fix our broken immigration system." More

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GSABA Rookie of the Year, Sales Manager of the Year from Sitterle Homes; Kathryn Schafer and Cheri Bass recognized for top-notch Service
PRWeb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Among a growing list of top industry performers, high-profile, custom homebuilder Sitterle Homes now has six Greater San Antonio Builders Association Summit Awards, including Rookie of the Year and Sales Manager of the Year. Winners Kathryn Schafer and Cheri Bass joined the Sitterle sales team early last year. Bass has more than 15 years of experience as a director of sales and marketing. More
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