Public Notice

DISASTER RESOURCES FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS

Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc on Texas and is not yet finished in the region as we write this to you. News outlets are on overload bringing America up to date on the tragedy unfolding before us. How can you help?  One way is to know the resources available to you and to your clients.

We’ve put together a list of resources not only for Harvey but for disasters in general so that you can react quickly to protect yourselves and those in your area should a disaster strike.

There is one more thing you can add manually to this list…your State’s disaster assistance website and phone number. Keep this list handy…you never know when you might need it.  And, we hope you, your families, co-workers, and friends are okay.

As always, thank you for the tremendous good work you do for your clients and for your community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rebuild with Confidence

AUSTIN, TEXAS – On behalf of the building and remodeling industry in Texas, the members of the
Texas Association of Builders want to express their heartfelt sympathies to anyone affected by the
tropical storm and Hurricane Harvey that hit the Texas Gulf Coast over the weekend. The
professional building and remodeling community stands ready to assist our neighbors as we work to
rebuild the homes and communities that have been destroyed or damaged.

As you begin to assess the damage to your home and property, we would like to help you make an
informed decision regarding your contractor choice. Before you hire a contractor, we strongly
encourage you to do your homework to ensure that you are hiring a reputable, qualified individual
or company to help you rebuild your home or business. Here are a few important guidelines to help
you select a competent builder or remodeler:

• Make sure the contractor has a permanent business location and a good reputation with a local
bank and suppliers.
• Find out how long they have been in the building business. You want to know that your contractor
will be around after construction is complete to fulfill any warranty obligations.
• Check with your local Better Business Bureau to learn if any complaints have been filed
against your contractor.
• Some Texas cities require that builders are registered and bonded. Check with your city’s
building permits department in this regard.
• Ask for and verify references.
• Enter into a complete and clearly written contract with your builder or remodeler.
• Do not pay for the entire job up front or pay in cash. In fact, state law prohibits contractors
in disaster areas from taking up front money unless they have held a physical business address in
the county or adjacent county for at least one year. This law, found in Chapter 58 of the Texas
Business and Commerce Code, provides other valuable protections for those rebuilding in disaster
areas.
• Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids or a hard-sell to “sign today” for a low price.
• Visit the online resources available to you at
http://www.texasbuilders.org/about-us/consumer-information.html.
We also want to remind you that some recovery-related expenses are exempt from state and local
taxes. Please keep these in mind as you review any bills or invoices that you receive from your
contractor:

• Texas never imposes sales tax on labor for residential repairs.
• In a declared disaster area, purchasers may claim an exemption from sales tax on separately
stated charges for labor to repair or restore nonresidential real property damaged by the disaster.
The materials that are used to perform the repairs are taxable.
• Taxpayers may claim an exemption from sales tax on charges for labor to repair or restore items
damaged by a disaster. The exemption may be claimed on labor to repair furniture, appliances, or
other items of tangible personal property. The exemption includes labor costs to launder or dry
clean damaged clothes or other property.
• Arborists’ services, such as cutting down or cutting up a damaged or dead tree in a declared
disaster area, are not taxable.
• Hauling away branches, limbs, or trees are waste removal services and are taxable.
• Goods and taxable services may be purchased tax free with FEMA, Salvation Army or Red Cross debit
cards or vouchers.

TAB remains committed to providing support, information and resources to the citizens and home
building industry affected by the recent hurricane. As you begin to repair your home, make sure
your contractor is an experienced professional.

RESOURCES FOR DISASTER RECOVERY:
Texas Association of Builders |
National Association of Home Builders Disaster Recovery Resources

National Association of Home Builders Disaster Recovery Websites |

Office of Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Department of Public Safety |(512) 424-2138
Red Cross
Salvation Army USA
Better Business Bureau
Federal Emergency Management Agency | (800) 621-FEMA
• If your insurance policy information has been lost, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) can
help you locate your agent or insurance company. Call TDI’s Consumer Help Line at (800) 252-3439
for assistance.
# # #
ABOUT TAB: The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) is a trade association serving the needs of home
builders, remodelers and land developers throughout Texas, as well as the companies that service
them. Founded in 1946, TAB is an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and
has 28 local home builders associations and nearly 10,000 members across Texas. Representing over
509,000 jobs and more than $38 billion annually in the Texas economy, the state and local
association
For more information about the Texas
Association of Builders, visit www.TexasBuilders.org.

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