The results of Texas’ constitutional election yesterday indicate Texans are tired of business as usual when it comes to our property tax system.

Of the three ballot propositions dealing directly with property taxes proposition 2 had the largest margin of victory at 68%. It also boasted the most votes cast for any constitutional amendment. Proposition 2 ensures homesteads are not taxed as commercial property under “best use” terminology in appraisal code.

State Rep. John Otto chaired a select Committee on Property Taxes during the 07-08 interim. Otto drafted and worked hard for this measure as a result of testimony he heard from Texans on that interim tour. All Texans are indebted to those who were willing to take the time to communicate during those forums. When we take the time to show up good things happen.

Uniform taxing standards existed in Texas before November 3, 2009 but there was no authority given to regulate the use of standards and as a result taxing districts used varying methods to convolute the appraisal process. Thanks to another overwhelming majority of voters (65%) taxpayers and the state will have a clearer picture of how taxes are being collected across districts and then distributed, saving time and money in the process.

It is interesting to note that both propositions 2 and 3 were opposed by several large newspapers including the Austin American Statesman, Fort Worth Star Telegram, and San Antonio Express. In the corresponding counties to each of these three dailies constituents voted for propositions 2 and 3 in 60%+ fashion.

Travis County Prop 2 received 62% Prop 3 66%
Tarrant County Prop 2 received 63% Prop 3 62%
Bexar County Prop 2 received 61% Prop 3 64%

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.