January 09, 2020 | Texas REALTORS® Staff
Several new real estate-related laws passed in 2019 by the 86th Texas Legislature took effect on Jan. 1, 2020. These include the following REALTOR®-supported bills that benefit Texas real estate consumers.
Expanded Access to Home Equity
As of January 1, property owners may now use agricultural land as collateral for a home equity loan (House Bill 1254, authored by Rep. Jim Murphy and sponsored by Sen. Kelly Hancock).
More Transparency in Property Taxes
Several pieces of the monumental property tax reform legislation from 2019 (Senate Bill 2, authored by Sen. Paul Bettencourt and sponsored by Rep. Dustin Burrows) took effect January 1 to be in place for the 2020 tax year:
A new law provides a temporary property tax exemption for property owners in areas that have been declared disasters by the governor. This will help property owners struggling in the wake of disaster and provide these taxpayers more immediate relief.
Flood Protection Funding
In November 2019 election, voters also passed a constitutional amendment known as State of Texas Proposition 8.
The resulting new law effective January 1 created a Flood Infrastructure Fund to develop flood mitigation infrastructure, which will help communities better withstand future flood events and create a more resilient Texas in preparation for future flooding.
More New Laws in 2020
Visit the website of the Legislative Reference Library of Texas to see lists of all the bills from the 86th legislative session and provisions from other bills that became effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Contact Jaime Lee, director of advocacy communications, for more information about any of these legislative changes.