Homeowners in Texas may get home insurance relief and other property tax cuts as Senate finally considers Texas legislature which tackle these concerns – two of the biggest expenses of homeowners.
Around two years ago, lawmakers were hesitant to tackle real estate issues like high home insurance rates and runaway property appraisals. However, with the current worsening economic conditions, Senate is expected to consider issues affecting many homeowners. Apart from the high home insurance cost, other concerns are stricter and tighter control of home construction practices and mortgage broker regulations, and increasing electric utility rates. One senate proposal plans to give counties and cities the right to impose a half a cent increase of sales tax. The revenue would then be used to cut property taxes.
For homeowners, home insurance and taxes may be the expected priority since costs of these have been rising. One homeowner in Ellis County, financial manager Paul Perry, reports that his property tax increased 10 percent yearly. According to Perry, the problem has been intensified by rising property appraisals which bring about increasing tax bills.
Another disgruntled homeowner in Richardson, Nita Berry, says that her insurance bills have risen 60 percent in the past 5 years due to the yearly increase. If the trend goes on, it is doubtful if homeowners could continue to pay for coverage or finally have homeownership. This has caused much stress for homeowners like Berry who has lived in the same home since 1979.
Critics say that previous laws passed regarding these problems have not lived up to expectations. In fact, a recent study about the property tax system showed high dissatisfaction among homeowners who feel burdened by taxes even with the one-third school property tax cut last 2006.
With Senate now willing to discuss home insurance rates and property taxes, homeowners are hopeful of concrete help from government. Another lifeline would be President Barrack Obama’s financial rescue plan. Let us just hope that the help does not come too late.