KETR

Election Tuesday: State Amendments and Paris Taxes

Nov 6, 2017

On Nov. 7, Texas voters will decide what to do with seven proposed amendments to the state Constitution. It is an uncommonly uncontroversial set of bills that have generated almost no enemies.

Here’s a rundown of what those propositions are and what they mean.

Proposition 1: Authorizing Certain Tax Breaks for Partially Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.”
  • Translation: Prop 1 would authorize property tax exemptions for some partially disabled veterans or the surviving spouses of those veterans whose homes were donated to them for less than market value.

Proposition 2: Allowing Texas Homeowners and Farmowners Greater Flexibility in Refinancing

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing for home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”
  • Translation: Prop 2 would lighten home equity restrictions and, for the first time, allow farmowners in Texas to leverage equity on their agricultural properties. Click the hyperlink for a full look at Proposition 2.

Proposition 3: Limiting Terms on Certain Unsalaried State Appointees

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.”
  • Translation: Prop 3 sets the final serving date for unsalaried appointees whose terms have ended, but who have not yet been replaced. Such employees would only be able to serve through the end of the next legislative session after their terms expire.

Proposition 4: Requiring Courts to Disclose Challenges to the Texas Constitution

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the Legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.”
  • Translation: Prop 4 would require Texas courts to notify the state attorney general’s office of any constitutional challenges to state laws.

Proposition 5: Expanding Ability for Pro Teams to Hold Charitable Events

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment on professional sports teams' charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.”
  • Translation: Prop 5 would expand the definition of “professional sports team” in Texas as a way to give those teams more chances to hold charitable raffles through team-connected foundations.

Proposition 6: Providing Certain Tax Breaks for Surviving Spouses of First Responders

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”
  • Translation: Much like Prop 1, Pro 6 looks to waive property taxes to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Proposition 7: Allowing Banks to Expand Ways to Promote Saving

  • The Ballot Will Say: “The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.”
  • Translation: Just like it says, Prop 7 would let financial institutions conduct currently prohibited promotional activities, such as raffles, to encourage customers to save their money.

More controversial is the vote in Paris regarding tax money allotment. Paris voters Tuesday will decide what to do with a quarter of every cent in municipal tax revenue.

A vote for Proposition A would re-allocate the tax money to the city. The funds would be earmarked for street improvements.

A vote against Proposition A would continue sending the money to the Paris Economic Development Corporation. The funds would be earmarked for economic development.