My friends at the Plano-based Free Market Foundation have produced a fantastic summary of the statewide constitutional ballot, with “pro” and “con” arguments for each. (You can view their work here.) Remember, your local ballot will probably have additional questions — school districts seeking to raise taxes, county bonds, etc. Check your county’s website to see the full ballot for your area.
Here are my personal feelings on the statewide ballot questions…
Proposition 1 -Â NEUTRAL
Clarifies in law the legislatureâ€™s transfer of Angelo State University from Texas State University System to Texas Tech University System .
Proposition 2 -Â AGAINST
Issues $500 million general obligation bonds for student loans.
PropositionÂ 3 – FOR
Limits the ad valorem tax on a homestead to the most recent market value or a 10 percent increase from the value of last yearâ€™s appraisal. This barely qualifies as appraisal reform, but it is the best we got out of the legislative session.Â
Proposition 4 -Â AGAINST
Authorizes up to $1 billion in bonds from the state general revenues for maintenance, repair and construction projects. Repair and maintenance should come out of the general budget, not put on the state’s “credit card.”
Proposition 5 -Â NEUTRAL
Allows cities under 10,000 to vote to authorize the city to enter agreements encouraging revitalization programs by deferring ad valorem taxes.
Proposition 6 -Â FOR
Exempts ad valorem tax on one vehicle used for both professional and personal use.
Proposition 7 -Â FOR
Allows the government to sell property acquired through eminent domain back to the previous owner at the price paid by the government in acquiring the land.
PROPOSITION 8 -Â NEUTRAL
Clarifies and alters procedures related to making and using home equity loans.
PROPOSITION 9 -Â FOR
Allows legislature to exempt totally disabled veteranâ€™s homesteads from ad valorem taxes and changes the method for determining the amount of a disabled veteranâ€™s exemption.
Proposition 10 -Â FOR
Eliminates the authority for the office of inspector of hides and animals. Getting rid of an unneeded political offices should be encouraged!
PROPOSITION 11 -Â FOR
Requires a record vote on any final passage of a piece of legislation except local bills, and assures Internet access to those votes. This is a very important reform, placing greater emphasis on transparency in the legislative process.
PROPOSITION 12 -Â AGAINST
Authorizes Texas Transportation Commission to issue $5 billion in bonds for highway improvement projects. Transportation fundingÂ in Texas is a mess; this only muddies the water. Until the agency is reformed, taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for more waste.
Proposition 13 -Â NEUTRAL
Authorizes the denial of bail to a person who violates certain court orders in misdemeanor family violence cases.
Proposition 14 -Â NEUTRAL
Permits judges reaching mandatory retirement age to finish their terms.
Proposition 15 -Â AGAINST
Establishes the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorizes state to issue up to $3 billion in bonds from the general revenue for research. We’ve written quite a bit on this one.
Proposition 16 -Â AGAINST
Allows Texas Water Development Board to issue up to $250 million in additional bonds for clean water in economically distressed areas.