Pillow Talk – It’s Not Business, It’s Personal

Posted By: Perry Pillow Legislative Updates,

Last month, Pillow Talk explored the external aspect of advocacy: “The Ask.” This month, we turn inward and consider personal investment in advocacy. Unlike realtors, doctors, and lawyers who personally join their respective professional trade associations, AATC members are businesses. But when it comes to contributing to candidates and political action committees (PAC), it’s not business; it’s personal.    

AATC’s Political Action Committee (AATC PAC) and TAA’s Political Action Committee (TAA PAC) provide opportunities for individuals vested in the multi-housing industry to contribute financial support to state and local candidates for public office and support or oppose measures submitted in public referendums. All contributions are made without regard to party affiliation. NAA’s Political Action Committee (NAA PAC) supports federal candidates.

All contributions to AATC PAC, TAA PAC, and NAA PAC must come from personal funds (cash, personal checking accounts, or personal credit cards). Donations from corporate accounts and corporate credit cards are NOT allowed. All PAC contributions are used for political purposes, so they are not tax-deductible or refundable. AATC, TAA, and NAA are bipartisan organizations and will not favor or disadvantage anyone based on the contribution amount.

AATC’s Spring Fling and Fall Classic golf tournaments and our Pickle Ball tournament are the principal ways we raise funds for the AATC PAC. AATC board members, government affairs committee members, and industry leaders also make personal donations to the AATC PAC. Our goal in 2023 is for 100% of our leadership team to contribute to the AATC PAC.

TAA PAC’s primary funding source is PAC-to-PAC “fair share” commitments from local apartment association PACS. AATC PAC’s 2-year TAA PAC “fair share” is $68,000. The AATC Business Exchange on August 8th is the largest single-event fundraiser in the nation for NAA PAC.

Advocacy tips:

  • Consider your personal donation to AATC PAC as an investment in your future and our industry.
  • Like personal investing, start small and stay consistent.
  • Play Pickle Ball, play in one of our golf tournaments, and attend Business Exchange.
  • Consider contributing personally to candidates that AATC, TAA, or NAA PAC are supporting.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE AATC PAC – AATC’s advocacy efforts depend on all our members doing their part to support candidates that align with AATC’s interests financially. Please contribute to the AATC PAC by clicking on the following link:  https://form.jotform.com/220464310148143

BEDFORD INSPECTIONS –On Wednesday, August 16th, AATC is hosting a meeting with Bedford city officials to discuss the excess enforcement of non-life/safety inspection requirements. AATC successfully litigated against onerous inspection fees in the City of Bedford. Until recently, Bedford officials adhered to the letter and spirit of the lawsuit settlement. Special thanks to American Landmark, Devonshire, and Unity Partners for bringing this issue to the forefront.

BUSINESS EXCHANGE – NAA PAC FUNDRAISER – AUGUST 8TH – Owner/operator and supplier registration is open for the 2023 AATC Business Exchange presented by Perma-Pier. This year’s event is Tuesday, August 8th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Hurst Conference Center. Click on the following link to register: https://www.aatcnet.org/events/2023-aatc-business-exchange-copy

The Business Exchange is the nation’s premier multifamily networking event. The Business Exchange allows you to meet with DFW’s top multifamily supplier partners one-on-one. More importantly, your attendance ensures we can maximize our supplier donations to the NAA Political Action Committee (NAA PAC). NAA PAC helps to fight onerous federal legislation like the CARES Act mandatory 30-day Notice to Vacate. Do not wait; register today.

REP. GRANGER MEETING – END CARES ACT 30-DAY NTV – AATC members are meeting this month with long-time AATC friend and US House of Representatives Appropriation Committee Chair Kay Granger (R – TX 12) to discuss ending the CARES Act 30-day notice to vacate.

TEXAS PROPERTY TAX LEGISLATION – Last month, the Texas Legislature passed a historic Property Tax Relief Package with overwhelming bipartisan support. Both chambers adjourned sine die, which ends the second called session. A third called session is not expected until the fall. The plan is in three bills: HJR 2 by Metcalf, SB 2 by Bettencourt, and SB 3 by Bettencourt and Parker. The three-bill package has these major features:

Homestead Exemption - An increase in the state-mandated school tax homestead exemption to $100,000, up from the current $40,000. Also, there is a prohibition against cities, counties, and school districts from reducing any homestead exemption in place during the tax year 2022.
Rate Compression - A 10.7¢ (per $100 in property value) reduction in the school tax rate across the board for all properties. This is known as rate compression.

Appraisal Cap Circuit Breaker - A new 20% cap on annual appraisal increases of non-homestead real estate properties valued below $5 million. The bill refers to the cap as a circuit breaker. It is effective for tax years 2024, 2025, and 2026, after which it goes away or can be continued by a future Legislature. The $5 million threshold is increased annually by CPI.  

Elected Boards - In counties over 75,000 in population, adding elected members to central appraisal district (CAD) governing boards. Currently, all CAD board members are appointed. In addition, in counties over 75,000 in population, assigns the duty of appointing appraisal review boards (ARBs) to the newly restructured CAD boards.

Franchise Tax Exemption - Doubles the franchise tax small business exemption, which is based on a business’s total revenue, from the current $1.23 million to $2.47 million. It also repeals the requirement that exempt (small) entities file a no-tax-due report annually.
Constitutional Spending Limit Fix - Provides a bypass of the state’s constitutional spending limit to finance property tax relief.

SAGINAW ONEROUS $125 PER UNIT FEE - AATC members and staff are actively engaged in repealing an extremely onerous $125 per unit per year registration and inspection fee in the City of Saginaw. Under Saginaw’s ordinance, a 200-unit property would pay $25,000 to the city. According to city records, this fee generates more than $230,000 in revenue for the city. Saginaw is using these payments from the apartment properties to subsidize the city’s entire building inspection department—special thanks to Teresa Alvarado with Cushman-Wakefield for bringing the Saginaw overreach to our attention.

Perry Pillow is AATC’s Director of Government Affairs. For more information, contact Perry at  ppillow@aatcnet.org  or call 817-701-6353