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Texans: Voting for constitutional amendments ends Tuesday

Texans: Voting for constitutional amendments ends Tuesday

Texans: Voting for constitutional amendments ends Tuesday
November 02
15:44 2015
[df-subtitle]A quick look at what’s on the ballot[/df-subtitle]

Adalberto Toledo | Staff Writer

@adaltoledo29

Registered voters in Texas will be able to vote Tuesday on seven constitutional amendments to the state’s constitution. Two reflect Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s motivation to reduce the amount Texans pay in taxes, while the other five deal with gambling, transportation, hunting and fishing and government finances.

Here’s what you will find on the ballot, along with an analysis to help you understand each proposition:

Proposition 1

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for those purposes on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person to reflect the increased exemption amount, authorizing the legislature to prohibit a political subdivision that has adopted an optional residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation from reducing the amount of or repealing the exemption, and prohibiting the enactment of a law that imposes a transfer tax on a transaction that conveys fee simple title to real property.”

What that means:

If passed, it would change the homestead exemption amount for school district property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000 for the purposes of reducing taxes on the elderly and disabled population.

Proposition 2:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.”

What that means:

It would exempt property from taxation for surviving spouses of totally disabled or dead veterans.

Proposition 3:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment repealing the requirement that state officers elected by voters statewide reside in the state capital.”

What that means:

Proposition 3 would authorize state officers of the Texas government to live outside of Austin to perform their duties. Since 1876, when the state constitution was adopted, the officers — including the governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general — have been required to live in Austin.

Proposition 4:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.”

What that means:

Some organizations and professional sports teams hold charitable raffles that donate 50 percent of winnings to the organization and the other half to the charity. Proposition 4 would authorize state lawmakers to write laws governing those charitable raffles.

Proposition 5:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment to authorize counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.”

What that means:

It would allow counties with a population under 7,500 or less to conduct their own private road construction and maintenance. This is to reduce the burden the Texas Department of Transportation has with maintaining and constructing road around the state.

Proposition 6:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation.”

What that means:

If voters approve, it would guarantee all Texans the “right” to fish and hunt. Currently, the state constitution does not establish this right.

Proposition 7:

What it says:

“The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for non-tolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.”

What that means:

If Texans approve, the proposition would allow lawmakers to allocate about $2.5 billion for state roads and highways in 2018.

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