As the trade association for the Texas club industry, TARO does two things:
1. Be involved in the political world
2. Shape polices that come from it
The following issues remain high priorities for TARO and our allied associations:
In Texas since 1977 property taxes on restricted recreational lands have been based on the appraised value of the land as used and not what it might be used for. This saves clubs in Texas tens of thousands of dollars every year. This is known as the Greenbelt Law. It is fair and entirely justified by the aesthetic and environmental advantages realized by the areas blessed with such recreational land. Moreover, much of the value of property adjoining recreational land is attributable to the existence of the recreational land. You should know that clubs and other owners of recreational land do pay taxes on buildings based on regular appraisal values. In recent sessions there have been attempts, sometimes just threats, to repeal the Greenbelt law. TARO has successfully defended Greenbelt and will continue to do so.
Some non-golf clubs mistakenly believe TARO is only about Greenbelt and does not benefit them. A financially healthy private club industry is important to all clubs, whether city clubs, golf, tennis, fishing, sailing or other clubs. However, many clubs that own recreational land would be taxed out of existence without the protection of Greenbelt treatment in valuing that land. Thus the entire club industry benefits from Greenbelt. (Greenbelt Overview)
As the state’s population continues to grow, the demand for water will remain a high priority issue for recreational clubs. TARO works closely with the Lone Star Chapter - GCSA and allied associations to educate regulators and lawmakers that we, as an industry, are good users of water and are proactive in taking conservation measures and employing best practice measures.
Public Accommodation Laws
One important reason TARO was formed was to protect the right of free association. In recent times clubs have been targets for so called “public accommodation” laws. These laws sought to open membership in social organizations by defining them as public accommodations, which would have to be open to everyone.
TARO has fought efforts to increase the fees charged for the many permits required for private clubs under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. This also included bills to require the posting of cash conduct security bonds. Many private clubs in Texas cannot afford any increase in permit fees and are struggling to meet current expenses.
TARO retains Gib Lewis, former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as a full time legislative consultant to represent the club industry before state agencies and the Legislature. For many years now, all clubs have benefited from TARO but relatively few have furnished financial support. It is time for all to contribute a fair share!