By Edward Ring
An article just published in City Journal, “Is Texas’s Affordable Housing Endangered,” describes how housing prices in Texas are becoming unaffordable. The article notes how the average home price in the Austin metropolitan area has doubled in just 10 years. In the Dallas suburbs a decade ago, more than 50 percent of homes sold for under $200,000 compared to around four percent today.
One of the reasons people move to Texas is that homes there are more affordable than in other places. Writer Connor Harris invokes California as a cautionary tale. Because Texas relies on high property taxes instead of having a state income tax, if property values surge, there is a risk that Texas voters will follow the example set by the 1978 tax revolt in California. A Proposition 13-like revolt, which prevented annual reassessments of home values, could lead to Texas passing and raising income taxes, which would penalize productive activity.