Conservative grassroots groups are challenging the ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment, calling the wording “misleading” and asking state officials to fix it before the November election.
Proposition 2 would allow counties to finance transportation and infrastructure projects in designated “reinvestment zones” by repaying borrowed money with property tax increases from new development within the zones—known as tax increment financing.
But proposition language set to go on the ballot fails to tell voters that the borrowed money is repaid with property taxes.
A nearly identical proposition rejected by voters in 2011 did state that debt would be repaid with “increases in ad valorem taxes imposed by the county on property in the area.”
Three citizen advocacy groups—Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), Grassroots America – We the People PAC, and True Texas Project—say the current ballot language doesn’t fully inform voters, and they are prepared to challenge the election results.
“However, our clients would prefer that Texas voters be informed of what they are voting on rather than misled and would like the wording of the proposition to be changed to reflect the proposed constitutional amendment’s effect,” their attorney Garrett McMillan said in a letter to the Texas Secretary of State’s office this week.
“We believe your office has the authority to remedy this situation now and avoid the need for an election contest and avoid a misleading proposition being submitted to the voters,” he added.
“Texans voted it down in 2011 when it appeared on the ballot the first time,” TURF President Terri Hall said in an email. “But government never takes ‘no’ for an answer and just keeps pushing tax hikes until they get them.”
“It’s up to us to STOP that modus operandi and remind them who’s in charge—we the people!”
Proposition 2 is one of eight amendments to the Texas constitution approved by the state Legislature this year that will be on the November 2, 2021 ballot.