Homeowners facing foreclosure know that the mortgage bill isn't the only bill pushing them to the brink of foreclosure. Property taxes and insurance bills are stressing homeowners financially as many struggle to pay the mortgage and avoid foreclosure .
Currently the Texas legislature is looking at legislation that will help lower property tax and insurance expenses for Texas homeowners.
According to an article in the Dallas Morning News:
While some lawmakers cite insurance reform and property tax cut laws passed earlier this decade, critics say the benefits of those laws have either tapered off or not lived up to the promises. Even recent reports from House and Senate committees that studied the property tax system found that many homeowners are feeling a heavier tax burden these days - despite a one-third cut in school property taxes in 2006. "Dissatisfaction with the [property] tax system is high across the state," said a study by a special House committee on property tax relief and appraisal reform. "Escalating values have caused taxpayers to feel that the one-third reduction in school taxes ... has been consumed by appraisal increases and other taxing jurisdiction increases. And as property taxes continue to increase, fewer Texans will realize the dream of homeownership."
Not only will fewer Texans realize the dream of homeownership but many homeowners will face foreclosure because they can't pay their property taxes or insurance bills. The problem is that insurers can just hike their prices without any justification and the result is that homeowners suffer.
Some homeowners are experiencing insurance increases by as much as 60% over the course of just a few years. And high property taxes are eating away at homeowners' meager budgets as many face job losses and decreased income.
If this legislation is passed in Texas it would allow cities such as Dallas-Fort Worth to raise local sales taxes while reducing property taxes and the legislation would require insurers to get approval from the state before increasing insurance rates for homeowners. These measures, if implemented, can go a long way in helping homeowners avoid foreclosure and breathe a little easier in these tough economic times.