If you want to know why every other year some of us turn into obsessive Lege-watchers, the answer is in stories like this.
A bill designed to give homeowners some relief from rising property appraisals was tentatively approved by the House on Monday on a vote of 87-53.
Supporters said House Bill 216 would give local appraisers more "wiggle room" when it comes to review by the state comptroller, who checks to make sure that local officials are appraising property at actual market value.
The law now says that values should not vary by more than 5 percent under or over market value. The bill by Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, would change the standard to 10 percent.
If the comptroller determines that an appraisal district has undervalued property for two consecutive years, local school districts can lose a portion of their state funding.
The bill is expected to cost nearly $2 billion between now and 2012 as the state must make up for cutting back local school taxes, according to a fiscal note.
Now, to fully answer the point I raised at the beginning of this post: How many of you had any idea this was coming? How many of you, given enough notice of this bill and the vote on it, might have contacted your State Rep and informed him or her that you think this is a boneheaded idea? Just so you know, I - Mister Super Obsessive Lege-Watching Blogger - first heard of it at all late Monday night. We watch because there's so much that needs watching, and not enough eyes to do it with.
One amusing thing about this bill: On second reading (the bill passed out of the House today), the Nay vote united such unlikely comrades as Lon Burnam and Leo Berman, and Garnet Colmen and Warren Chisum. (See here (PDF) and scroll to page 19.) How many contested bills per session do you think can say that?Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 17, 2007 to That's our Lege