Safe Building Materials of Texas established the Free Market Coalition to address municipalities that have overstepped their authority by interfering with national accepted building codes and standards adopted by the Texas State Legislature. By limiting the materials that meet the building code, these municipalities are ignoring that homes and commercial buildings are constructed with product specific ordinances, these municipalities are ignoring free market principles and raising the cost for hard-working Texans to become homeowners.
Through lobbying efforts at the local level, numerous building product manufacturers have successfully taken away Texans’ right to choose the materials in which their home is built. The municipal regulations are not focused on the safety of the structures, but picking winners and losers in the marketplace.
These regulations have disregarded Texans’ right to choose building materials for single family, multifamily and commercial buildings that meet national codes and standards in favor of forcing Texans to use expensive products that are regulated by local regulations. These costs trickle down to homeowners, renters and commercial tenants. By limiting municipalities authority to discriminate against nationally approved products, Texans would save at least $24,000 on the average new home.
WHY FREE MARKETS MATTER:
Without a free market, monopolies are created. While the board game is fun, monopolies in real life can be devastating for businesses and consumers. Since 1985, the number of brick companies in Texas has gone from 17 to three, with two of those companies controlling 90 percent of the market. Without significant competition, brick companies are able to charge Texans uncompetitive rates for brick and other masonry products. Combined with municipal ordinances requiring builders to use brick, this lack of competition effectively gives the masonry industry the ability to raise prices without the consequence of losing business.
The Trickle-Down Effect
- Municipalities require residential and commercial builders use brick and stone
- The shortage of trained masons leads to additional increases in construction time and cost
- The increased construction costs raise the appraisal value, effectively raising property tax bills for homeowners
- Higher costs of building are pricing working-class Texans out of homeownership