Formats Issue: We need to get everyone to use a standard open format, in this case I'd say GeoJSON. You work in the trenches, we need you to spread this message in your community. Not necessarily the GeoJSON part (although I prefer it) but the open format part. Aside from all the great, open, machine-readable code being spread about, it'll make your life easier.
Time spent has a lot to do with your tooling, especially if your doing it manually. I highly recommend gdal, it's a game changer. It was a roadblock for me years ago when I was on Win (good luck installing it), and later because I feared the terminal. When I finally used it to batch convert massive files and datasets, it was literally awesome. Like I was in awe @ the power of this library...I still am.
Texas Parcel Data:
OpenAddresses is not a collection of parcels data, but this is a comprehensive list of texas localities that they've got data from. There is also a separate collection for parcels being done, although I can't remember much more than that...it may be worth it for you to contact them.