No Action on Sales Price Disclosure Bills in Texas

2011-06-28

Issue Brief

Unlike many other states, Texas has no real estate transfer fees and prices of real estate sales are not typically disclosed publicly.  In 2007, 2009 and 2011, legislators introduced bills requiring real estate purchasers (including timeshare buyers) to disclose the sales price in order to record the sale.  Unlike prior years, in 2011 these bills were not even heard in committee.

Impact

If certain of these bills, such as SB 299, were enacted, timeshare buyers would have to disclose the price or face a penalty.  Further, local real property tax assessors could add up these prices (even though timeshare prices include many non-real property elements) to increase property taxes. 

Position/Call to Action

In 2007 and 2009, ARDA and ARDA-ROC negotiated an exemption for timeshares in the House bills, although the Senate sponsors refused the exemption.  No bills were passed then.  If the bills had been active in 2011, ARDA and ARDA-ROC would have again pressed for a timeshare exemption (or opposed the bills), due in part to the administrative burden on tax assessors to value the more than 350,000 tiny Texas timeshare interests, not to mention the burden on timeshare owners and buyers, many of whom are not Texans.

Resolution

None of the sales prices disclosure bills came up for hearing in 2011, due in part to the many other issues facing the Texas legislature (including the budget, redistricting, and other issues that ended up deferred to a special session). However, this is an issue that seems to return from session to session, as it has for the past three.

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