I-Team Research Results on the Law to Protect Homeowners from Unexpected Taxes – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – After nearly two years of an I-Team investigation, a new law should help homeowners prevent many home buyers from being affected by what CBS 11 News says are “hidden costs.”

Texas State Assembly Representative Tan Parker said she’s seen hosts in our 2020 I-Team surveys.

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Representative Parker says, “I am grateful to have watched your broadcast and watched the story, and I wanted to take immediate action on behalf of my constituency.”

Inside our first report“I opened the tax bill, looked and was like, ‘Why so much more than we thought it would be?’ I thought. ”

“I’m crazy,” Vanessa and Robert Fillingim say. Vanessa is a real estate agent who told us in March 2020 that she had no idea about the additional cost.

I-Team follow up after months In another recent development, residents have also started to complain. “We would buy a house elsewhere,” says Karla New in September 2020.

Homebuyers told I-Team they were moving into new housing projects being built by some of Texas’ biggest builders; but some said no one told them they were also moving to a public improvement area or PID.

Others say I-Team was told they had switched to a PID, but more than tripled the amount after signing the dotted line.

PIDs are common in Texas. A city’s or county’s need for road, water, sewer, pavement, etc., from a builder. they let him charge for his development… A builder can pass that cost on to buyers.
You’ll see it on your tax bills.

In one Denton case investigated by I-Team, nearly 100 homeowners who filed a complaint said “each [house] It was valued at about $31,000 for PID.”

This was an amount that many said they would have agreed to pay up front at closing if they had known.

Over time, they said, the interest could add tens of thousands of dollars to property taxes. In Fillingim’s case, it would have been “$75,000” according to the hosts. “We wouldn’t be living here today,” explains Vanessa.

Following the stories, I-Team received several emails from viewers stating:
“I am one of the buyers whose PID tax was not mentioned.”
“Them [builders] They scam people.”
“I can’t believe this is still going on.”

Dallas Attorney Rachel Khairallah has represented more than 100 homeowners in numerous lawsuits. “I think this is probably happening all over Texas,” says Khairallah when we first started researching this topic in early 2020.

Today, he says he has filed seven lawsuits, each representing more than 100 people. He says they’re all against the big Texas builders. Two lawsuits are pending. All involve PID disclosure issues.

“It’s still happening all over Texas,” he says, despite continued complaints and news coverage.

The new law, which came into effect on September 1, 2020, Requires builders to provide you with two notifications about a PID evaluation.

First, the moment you sign your contract.

And second, at closing. It must be notarized.

The law also clearly states that you can file a lawsuit for compensation if no notice is given.

“It gives me some satisfaction to know that the legislature is starting to understand what is missing from the law regarding these disclosures and what people need to be aware of,” Khairallah says. However, he still wants more.

The estimated amount you will owe is not included in the new notification requirements.

The I-Team took their concerns back to Representative Parker, who said they would follow up immediately.

“I would be happy to visit him or any lawyer who wants to talk about some of the technical details of the bill,” Parker says. He told I-Team he was happy to continue looking at the legislation and amending it if necessary. “I am very open to work on improving legislation in the future.”

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As lawmakers and legal professionals continue to seek and find ways to protect you from disclosure about it, here’s what you should do:

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

HOMEOWNERS

  • Get your tax documents out.
  • Look for “PID” or “Public Development Zone” in your itemized list.
  • If you don’t know this, inquire with your real estate agent and builder.

HOME BUYERS

  • Ask your realtor and builder “Am I switching to PID?” ask.
  • Get a yes or no in writing.
  • Find out how much it will cost. And then decide if this is right for you.

DO YOU LIVE OR MOVE IN A PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT ZONE?

The I-Team received the following information about Public Improvement Districts from Public Information Officers in the following North Texas cities (not all cities have a PID):

DALLAS
You can find the information here.

CORNER VALUE
You can find the information here.

ARLINGTON

  • Downtown Business District only applies to commercial properties
  • Arlington Tourism Public Development District only applies to hotels with 75 rooms or more
  • The Viridian Public Development District was created by the Viridian Municipal District, not the City.

We don’t have any residential PID.

SELINA
You can find the information here.

List of Celina City PIDs:

  • Lakes at Mustang Farm
  • Heritage Streams
  • farms
  • Wells South
  • Parks at Wilson Creek
  • Sutton Fields II
  • Wells North
  • G Bar 7/Glen Crossing
  • Cambridge Pass
  • columns
  • Chalk Hill II
  • Glen Pass West
  • Wilson Creek Meadows
  • Celina Hills
  • Mustang Lakes Annex Building

Mound of FLOWERS

Flower Mound Town currently has a PID on the River Walk in Central Park. A map of its borders can be found here.

It was approved by voters in November 2013.

The town has no formal requirements for builders on how a potential home buyer is notified that the property they are interested in is part of a PID. However, PID paperwork is part of a home buyer’s closing documents.

FRISKO

You can find the information here.

PLANO

City of Plano has two PIDs and plans to approve another in a few months.

Downtown Plano PID was founded by a petition from Downtown property owners (about 55). This PID helps Downtown fund events and marketing. The other PID and upcoming one covers 99 acres of Collin Creek Mall and is again set up by petition.

PID creation criteria are found in State laws. This is Section 372 of the Local Government Act.

EULES

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You can find the information here.

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