July 2007

Tierra Grande Cover

Not in My Big Bend Backyard

(Hunt) 3pp.

Debate over the La Entrada al Pacifico project has centered on the pros and cons of trade versus tourism. Tourism is typically more appealing than transportation and trade-related industries. But a closer look reveals tourism can negatively impact lower- and middle-income residents of resort towns

Movers and Savers

(Stern) 1pp.

Taxpayers who have qualified moving expenses receive a deduction for adjusted gross income. The new mileage deduction for each auto used in connection with a qualified move is 20 cents per mile in 2007, up from 18 cents in 2006.

The Price is Right

(Gilliland, Klassen, Pachchigar) 3pp.

Texas rural land prices increased 23 percent in 2006. The statewide price is $1,825 per acre. Volume of sales remained strong with 8,202 sales in 2006

Impact Fees

(Gaines, Fambrough) 5pp.

Many communities, especially those in high-growth areas, are assessing impact fees to finance infrastructure construction. Creating a local ordinance is the first step in the process, which is governed by the Texas Local Government Code. Chapter 395 provides specific requirements for enacting a local impact fee.

Space Cowboys

(Pope) 3pp.

Several privately funded facilities designed to someday launch civilians into space are under development in Texas. These spaceports have the potential to offer economic and educational benefits, but they are expensive and could have environmental drawbacks

The Value of Subprimes

(Gaines) 4pp.

Subprime loans are high-risk loans and consequently have much higher delinquency and foreclosure rates. But they are useful to buyers with low, bad or no credit, may of whom would not be able to purchase a home without them. Much of the negative media attention related to subprimes has focused on predatory lending and other illegal practices, which must be stopped.

International Appeal: Foreign Investors Buy Big

(Gilliland, Holland) 2pp.

Foreign buyers dramatically increased their holdings of Texas timberland in 2006. Temple-Inland plans to sell more than a million acres of Texas timberland in 2007.

Measuring Texas Real Estate Wealth

(Anari) 2pp.

The total taxable value of Texas real estate wealth increased 74.6 percent from 1997 to 2005. Texas per capita real estate wealth rose from $35,059 in 1997 to $52,874 in 2005, a 50 percent increase. The value of single-family residences made up more than 56 percent of total Texas real estate wealth in 2005

High Tide for Housing

(Dotzour) 2pp.

Double-digit home price appreciation over the past two years has created a "fantasyland" residential market in many parts of the country. But now, withdrawing investors, sinking second-home sales, high-risk loans and mortgage fraud are forcing a retuirn to the real world

Advertising 101

(Leigh) 1pp.

The keys to effective advertising are accurately identifying your target audience, keeping the message simple and running the ad often enough to make an impact but not so often that viewers lose interest.

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