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Voters will decide up or down on 14 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution in the Nov. 7 election.

Below is a synopsis of each with supporting and opposing comments sourced from the Analyses Of Proposed Constitutional Amendments of the 88th Texas Legislature.

Proposition 1, House Joint Resolution 126

Proposition 1 would make it a state constitutional right of Texas residents to engage in “generally accepted farm, ranch, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management practices on land they own or lease.”

Supporters say this will:

  • prevent overregulation that could threaten agricultural production;
  • ensure constitutional protections for farmers and ranchers as urban and suburban growth pushes into rural areas;
  • and still allow for some regulation from state and local governments to address serious concerns of public health and animal welfare.

According to those opposed:

  • This will limit the government’s ability to set reasonable standards regarding food safety, water pollution, and animal welfare.
  • The vagueness of the language in the amendment — “generally accepted …” — could lead to confusion and abuses by certain entities.

Proposition 2, Senate Joint Resolution 64

Proposition 2 would allow local governments to exempt childcare facilities from ad valorem taxes. This resolution would also allow governments to define “child-care facilities” and determine what makes a property eligible.

Supporters say:

  • High property taxes have increased the cost of childcare.
  • Inflation costs have forced many childcare facilities to close in recent years, leading to higher childcare costs for working families.
  • A childcare facility’s savings on property taxes could be passed on to consumers.

No opposing remarks were made during legislative consideration.

Proposition 3, HJR 132

Proposition 3 would prohibit the Texas Legislature from imposing a tax on the total wealth or net worth of an individual or family. The state does not currently impose a “wealth tax,” but there is also no law prohibiting it.

Supporters say this would:

  • prevent future legislatures from imposing a wealth tax without the approval of voters;
  • and ensure that Texans are not penalized for generating wealth.

The opposition says:

  • the measure is unnecessary because there have not been any proposed wealth taxes in Texas;
  • and the current Legislature cannot anticipate the future needs of the state, and it should be up to future legislatures to decide how to address future needs.

Proposition 4, HJR 2

Proposition 4 would make several changes to the Texas Constitution relating to ad valorem taxes, including a temporary limit on the appraised value of property. If approved, property value cannot increase by more than 20 percent per year for the next three years. It also includes an increase in property tax exemptions for public school purposes to $100,000 from $40,000. Prop 4 would allow for state spending to reduce property taxes and increase the terms of appraisal district board members that serve populations of 75,000 or more to four-year terms.

Supporters say this would:

  • provide massive tax cuts to the people who helped create a large budget surplus;
  • provide relief to Texans struggling with rising property tax increases;
  • especially benefit those with moderately priced homes, referring to the proposed $100,000 exemption;
  • and make appraisal districts more accountable to taxpayers.

The opposition says:

  • Public education could suffer from reduced funding.
  • No relief is provided to renters in the proposed amendment.
  • The amendment doesn’t go far enough; property taxes should be eliminated entirely.
  • This would disproportionately benefit homeowners and business owners.

Proposition 5, HJR 3

Proposition 5 would create the Texas University Fund and allow for up to $100 million of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund to support applicable universities. This funding would go toward supporting higher education and major research projects.

Supporters say this would:

  • provide a sustainable source of funding for Texas universities that do not benefit from the Permanent University Fund;
  • keep Texas universities competitive in cutting-edge research;
  • and help attract federal and private funding, which would further improve research programs at Texas universities.

No opposing remarks were made during legislative consideration, but some concerns center on using the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund for this purpose.

Proposition 6, SJR 75

Proposition 6 would create a $1 billion Texas Water Fund to be administered by the Texas Water Development Board for new water supply sources and to repair infrastructure to existing sources.

Supporters say this would:

  • help Texas accommodate its increasing population and combat perennial drought conditions;
  • and help communities with smaller tax bases obtain water supplies, install needed infrastructure, and repair existing infrastructure.

The opposition says the Texas Water Development Board should be able to address the state’s water needs without the creation of new programs.

Proposition 7, SJR 93

Proposition 7 would create a $5 billion Texas Energy Fund to “support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.”

Supporters say:

  • additional state funding is needed to increase the reliability of the state’s electricity market;
  • and this would allow the Public Utility Commission of Texas to issue loans and grants to incentivize the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.

The opposition says providing funding to increase the reliability of the Texas grid would be more appropriate through the rate-payer system as opposed to offering state subsidies funded by all taxpayers.

Proposition 8, HJR 125

Proposition 8 would create a $1.5 billion Broadband Infrastructure Fund to expand statewide access to high-speed internet.

Supporters say this would:

  • help bring reliable, high-speed internet to underserved communities, increase quality of life, and stimulate economic growth;
  • and maximize the state’s ability to take advantage of federal funding, which could match state dollars four-to-one.

The opposition says:

  • The program should focus on fiber-optic cable infrastructure, which is considered more durable and reliable than wireless broadband.
  • Texas has already dedicated $600 million to broadband development and received large sums in funding from the federal government. This would be an excessive burden on the taxpayers.

Proposition 9, HJR 2

Proposition 9 would allow the Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. The state would use $3.355 billion from the general fund to make the adjustments.

Supporters say cost-of-living adjustments have not been made to the TRS in nearly 20 years, severely depleting the purchasing power of retired teachers due to higher costs of living and inflation. Most Texas school districts do not participate in the federal social security system, so TRS annuities are often the only benefits retired Texas teachers receive.

No opposition was expressed during legislative discussion.

Proposition 10, SJR 87

Proposition 10 would authorize the Legislature to make personal property of medical and biomedical manufacturers exempt from ad valorem taxes.

Supporters say:

  • Taxes on medical and biomedical manufacturing could discourage investment in and the expansion of the industry in Texas.
  • This would encourage local manufacturing rather than relying on overseas industry.
  • This would help ease the burden of inflation and supply chain issues in the medical manufacturing industry.

No opposition was expressed during legislative consideration of the proposal.

Proposition 11, SJR 32

Proposition 11 would include El Paso County on a list of counties in which conservation and reclamation districts could issue bonds supported by property taxes for the development of recreational facilities for the public.

Supporters say this would:

  • allow conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to fund the creation and maintenance of recreational facilities at the discretion of the voters;
  • and help address the need for recreational spaces in El Paso County.

The opposition says:

  • This would give unnecessary authority to conservation and reclamation districts to assess property taxes.
  • Certain conservation districts are under federal contracts and should not be included in this resolution to prevent double taxation.

Proposition 12, HJR 134

Proposition 12 would abolish the position of county treasurer in Galveston County and allow the local Commissioners Court to employ a qualified individual to conduct the duties of the treasurer.

Supporters say:

  • The benefit to Galveston County taxpayers from the county treasurer position does not justify the amount of funds necessary to support the office
  • The county treasurer’s duties could be performed by other departments.
  • The current Galveston County treasurer ran on a platform of abolishing the office, which was supported by the constituents who voted them into the office.

The opposition says:

  • The position of county treasurer provides essential checks and balances on county government.
  • County treasurer is a constitutionally elected office and it should be maintained.
  • There would be little cost-savings because other county departments would have additional workloads absent the treasurer.

Proposition 13, HJR 107

Proposition 13 would increase the mandatory retirement age of state judges and justices to 79 years old from 75. This amendment would also set the lowest possible proposed mandatory retirement age at 75 years old.

Supporters say:

  • People are living and working longer than in the past, reducing the need for lower mandatory retirement ages.
  • This will allow for retaining experienced officials and reduce turnover.
  • Voters can already choose to remove an elected judge if they want to see change, regardless of mandatory retirement ages.

There was no opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment during legislative consideration.

Proposition 14, SJR 74

Proposition 14 would create the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, dedicating $1 billion to the creation and improvement of Texas State Parks.

Supporters say:

  • This would ensure protection and access to the state’s natural resources for its growing population.
  • The current state park system is strained with demand and more parks are needed.
  • State parks drive economic activity and provide recreational, academic, and conservation opportunities.

No opposition was given to the proposed constitutional amendment during legislative consideration.