A hearing on a proposed Texas law prohibiting governments, companies, and residents of China and a few other nations from purchasing real estate in Texas was held on Thursday in the state Capitol.
The legislation’s opponents said that they were discriminatory and that they may harm Texas’s economy. Many people showed out to the Capitol to protest SB 147 and SB 711, two bills that restrict people and businesses’ capacity to own property based on their national origin.
If the measures are passed, Texas’s property ownership laws would be drastically altered. The Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as other affected communities including Iran, North Korea, and Russia, opposed the proposals. Several Texans support limiting property ownership, arguing that it is a matter of national security, along with Governor Greg Abbott and legislative leaders.
Yet, many have said that the bill encourages Asian hatred, including a business owner in the Houston region who employs people from a variety of origins. Many claimed that the law violated the Texas and United States Fair Housing Acts, which forbid national origin-based discrimination.
Texas House Bill
In the meantime, a new Texas House bill that exempts LGBTQ couples and separated parents of minor children from the tax benefit among other parties does not apply to them. Texas Representative Bryan Slaton (R) last week presented House Bill 2889, which would grant married couples in the state who have biological or adoptive children of any age a homestead tax credit.
According to the proposed legislation, eligible couples are entitled to yearly tax relief based on the size of their family, with four children potentially qualifying for a 40 percent property tax cut. The bill allows couples with ten or more children to not pay any property tax at all.
But, the GOP-backed plan does not provide for providing tax relief to all Texas families; rather, only heterosexual couples in marriage are qualified for the benefits. Partnerships that have at least one divorced partner are likewise excluded. Couples who had children before getting married are likewise not allowed to use those children to reduce their tax obligations.
Slaton stated in a news release this week that his plan aims to increase the state’s declining birth rate by creating financial incentives for parenthood. He claimed that practices adopted in Poland and Hungary served as inspiration for the proposed law. Slaton did not explicitly state that his bill ensures that same-sex couples and people who have divorced and remarried, which the Bible views as a sin, are excluded.
Slaton has also sponsored legislation during this legislative session that would forbid minors from attending drag shows and label gender-affirming medical care for transgender children as child abuse. The Texas Republican Party issued a platform in June that opposed any efforts to affirm transgender status and recognized homosexuality as an abnormal lifestyle choice.