84(R) - 2015
House Ways & Means
House Ways & Means
Relating to the prohibition on posting on the Internet information held by an appraisal district regarding certain residential property.
A fiscal note dated April 10, 2015 anticipates no fiscal implication to the State or to units of local government.
House Bill 285 would amend Section 25.027 of the Tax Code relating to information regarding certain residential property to extend the list of pieces of information to which the section does not apply (and as a consequence, add to the kind of information that may be posted on the Internet in appraisal records).
Under current law, the only exception to what may not be posted is an aerial photograph that depicts at least five separately owned buildings. House Bill 285 would change it to an aerial photograph that depicts more than one separately owned building. It would add the authorization to post:
- a street level photograph of only the exterior of a building,
- a field record or overhead sketch of the property that depicts the outline of one or more buildings on the property, the location of an interior wall in an outlined building located on the property that separates the main living area of the building from an ancillary space such as a garage, patio, or porch, the general landscape features of the property, including ponds, pools, and walls, and the dimensions of or distances between the buildings and features depicted.
House Bill 285 would allow a property owner that is the owner of an improvement to real property described by Subsection 25.027(a) to submit a written request to have the owner's name not included in the information available on the appraisal district's Internet website. The Internet website for the appraisal district would be required to post a statement informing property owners of this right.
Vote Recommendation Notes
There are currently restrictions on the kind of information regarding certain residential property that an appraisal district is allowed to post on the Internet. These restrictions come out of a concern for privacy and a potential criminal use of the information available to anyone.
House Bill 285 would increase the information that could be posted on the Internet website of an appraisal district but would also allow a property owner that owns an improvement to real property to submit a written request to have the owner's name not included in the information available online.
This bill protects the property rights of home owners to prevent the government from posting pictures of their house online if they so choose.