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CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

BURNET — Early voting is underway for seven state constitutional amendments, an alcohol option election and an Emergencys Service District sales tax proposal in Burnet County. Early voting began Oct. 19 and continues until Oct. 30.

“There are seven constitutional amendments approved by the state to be on the ballot. There is also a liquor-by-the-drink initiative as well, and then in ESD 9 in the Spicewood area, there’s a sales tax option available for those residents only,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

Spicewood ESD No. 9 officials petitioned for the two-percent sales tax.

The state collects a 6.25 cent tax on purchased items. Local entities can ask voters for a maximum of up to 2 cents, bringing the total sales tax to 8.25 cents.

For the ESD, the 2 cent sales tax would raise about $200,000 by 2017, providing additional funding to increase the level of EMS personnel and training for the volunteer agency serving about a 12-mile area in the unincorporated community.

READ MORE ABOUT THE ESD NO. 9 TAX PROPOSAL HERE

The alcohol option proposal would determine whether businesses would be able to sell and serve liquor by thedrink in all unincorporated areas of Burnet County.

If passed by voters, stores and restaurants in unincorporated areas such as Spicewood and Kingsland as well as cities such as Bertram would have the chance to apply for licenses with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to serve liquor for on-premises consumption and, in other cases, expand the types of alcohol allowed.

Also on the ballot, are several state constitutional propositions.

• Proposition 1 would increase property tax exemptions for homeowners from $15,000 to $25,000; homeowners are expected to save an average of $126 annually on their property taxes.

• Proposition 2 would expand the number of those eligible for property tax exemptions for surviving spouses of disabled veterans to also include those veterans who died before Jan. 1, 2010.

• Proposition 3 would allow some statewide officials — including the agriculture commissioner, attorney general, comptroller and land commissioner — to live outside the Texas capital of Austin; the governor or lieutenant governor would still be required to live in Austin.

• Proposition 4 would give professional sports teams’ charitable foundations the ability to conduct more charitable raffles; currently, they are limited to twice per year.

• Proposition 5 would allow small counties to perform maintenance on private roads, redefining “small” as 7,500 from the current 5,000 population.

• Proposition 6 would prevent a legislative body from setting limits on hunting, fishing and harvesting of wildlife in Texas.

• Proposition 7 would dedicate some taxes collected on vehicle sales to the State Highway Fund for the maintenance and construction of public roadways and bridges and to pay down debt tied to transportation. If the state sales and use tax revenue tops $28 billion, officials would use up to $2.5 billion for the highway fund. The proposition would also earmark 35 percent of tax revenue from state motor vehicle sales/use/rental tax revenue over $5 billion for the same infrastructure.

“We just hope that people get out and vote on these. It’s not a real popular thing because there’s not a personality in the race,” Oakley said. “But it’s always important to participate in the process.”

Early voting continues through Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday at the Burnet County Courthouse, 220 S. Pierce, and the Marble Falls Courthouse South Annex, 810 Steve Hawkins Pkwy.

Extended early voting hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the same locations.

The election is Nov. 3.

Sample ballots are available HERE and at polling locations and the courthouse.

connie@thepicayune.com

1 thought on “Burnet County voting on constitutional amendments, alcohol option

  1. Thanks very much, Connie. This will really help me when voting.

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