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Amendments
 
Proposition Summary
Supporters Say:
Opponents Say:
#?1?Allows Surviving Spouse of a Member of the Armed Services to Receive Property Tax Exemption

The constitutional amendment authorizing the  legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed in action.
The surviving spouses of service members killed in action are as deserving of a residence homestead property tax exemption. Existing benefits for military widows and widowers can be inadequate, particularly for a newly single parent having to adjust to the loss of a spouse and to an uncertain future. Revenue lost to local governments would have only a small effect on individual local governemnts given would be eligible and the amount of the average Texas homeowner's annual property tax bill.
By allowing the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services to receive an exemption from property taxation of the surviving spouse's residence homestead, local governments could be further hindered to generate sufficient revenue without raising property taxes. In addition, a concern was expressed that the proposed amendment excludes other deserving populations and adds to the complexity of a system of tax exemptions and other veterans benefits that are awarded based on the categorization of veterans into various classes.
#?2?Authorizes the Elimination of Obsolete Requirements for State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund

?The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational??.
The proposed amendment would afford an opportunity to shrink state government by eliminating an obsolete governmental office, streamlining the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and simplifying an ever-expanding state constitution.
No comments opposing the proposed amendment were made during the house and senate committee hearings or during debate on the amendment in the house and senate chambers. A review of other sources also did not reveal any apparent opposition to the amendemnt.
?#3?Authorizes a Political Subdivision to Extend Ad Valorem Taxation Days for Aircraft Parts

?The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valrem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary  period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.
The current 175-day limit on how long certain tengible personal property may be held in a Texas business's inventory to qualify for a freeport tax exemption unfairly disqualifies aircraft parts. This tax burden places texas aircraft parts supplies at a competitive disadvantage with suppliers located in other states where goods destined for out-of-state shipment are exempt from property taxation. Although, the freeport exemption was authorized as a business incentive, the current time frame for turning around inventory is too short to meet the needs of the Texas aviation industry and may be a deterrent to business relocations to Texas or expansion of operations already in Texas.
Some are concerned about the cost of the amendment to local governments, as well as costs to the state when offsetting lost school district tax revenue through the school finance system. These issues remain unanswered because the number of taxing units that would extend the freeport exemption period under the amendment, and the taxable value of the parts that would become subject to the exemption, cannot be predicted.
#?4?Allows a Partially Disabled Veteran or a Surviving Spouse to Receive a Property Tax Exemption if the Home was Donated by a Charitable Organization

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption form ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.
The legislature has recognized the sacrifices made by 100 percent disabled veterans and their surviving spouses by granting a property tax exemption for the total appraised value of the veteran's residence homestead, but there is no corresponding exemption for veterans with only a partial disability. Charities exist to help place partially disabled veterans or their surviving spouses in donated homes. The proposed amendment would enable the recipient disabled veteran or surviving spuouse to remain in the donated home, without a tax burden, to pursue an education, find a suitable job, or start a business.
By allowing a partially disabled veteran of a member of the armed services or a surviving spouse to receive an exemption from property taxation of the residence homestead, local governments could be further hindered to generate sufficient revenue without raising property taxes. In addition, a concern was expressed that the proposed amendment excludes other deserving populations and adds to the complexity of a system of tax exemptions and other veterans benefits that are awarded based on the categorization of veterans into various classes.
#?5?Authorizing a Reverse Loan for the Purchase of a Homestead Property for Texas Homeowners Age 62 and Older

The constitutional amendment to authorize the making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property and to amend lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.
It is not uncommon for older homeowners to find themselves in the market for a new home, whether for downsizing or simply lowering the cost of homeownership. Currently, Texas seniors must sell one home and purchase another, either by paying in cash or by taking out a new mortgage, in two separate transactions. The proposed amendment would add a reverse mortgage for purchase option for older homeowners, allowing Texas homeowners age 62 and older, who may be house-rich and income-poor, to sell one property and purchase another in a single transaction. By combining the selling and buying of the two properties into one transaction and eliminating a set of fees, a homeowners could save several thousand dollars in closing fees.
No comments opposing the proposed amendment were made during the house and senate committee hearings or during debate on the amendment in the house and senate chambers. a review of other sources also did not reveal any apparent opposition to the amendment.
#?6?Authorizing the Creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and State Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to Finance the State Water Plan

??The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.
Ensuring an adequate water supply is vital to the public health and continued economic well-being of the state. If the state's growing water needs are not addressed, the state stands to suffer from the loss of over a million jobs, billions of dollars in lost income, reduced economic activity, decreased tax revenues, and endangers communities. The proposed amendment establishes two implementation funds, which are to be capitalized by a one-time appropriation of $2 billion from the economic stabilization fund, for the purpose of financing water projects included in the state water plan. Such a use of money from the fund will neither harm the state's credit rating nor hinder the state's ability to respond to an emergency.
The economic stabilization fund should not be used to capitalize the funds to be created by the proposed amendment. Instead, such funding should come from the general revenue fund. Drawing down funds from the economic stabilization fund may negatively affect the state's credit rating and leave the state inadequately equipped to respond to future emergencies.
#?7?Authorizing a Home Rule Municipality to Set Charter Procedures to Fill Governing Body Vacancies

?The constitutional amendment authorizing a home rule municipality to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.
Constitutional provisions burden a home-rule municipality that needs to fill a short-term vacancy on its governing body by requiring a special elecition to fill the bacancy for the remainder of an unexpired term and a general election for a new term within a relatively short period. The proposed amendment would allow a home-rule municipality to specify in its charter the procedure for filling a short-term vacancy on its governing body, including by appointment, while still requiring an election to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term of more than 12 months.
Despite costs to taxpayers, it has been observed that elections are critical in ensuring that governments are accountable to the citizens, and that allowing municipal officials to make appointments to fill vacancies in municipal offices could make the government more vulnerable to corruption.
#?8?Authorizes the Repeal of a Constitutional Provision that Limits Hidalgo County's Hospital District Tax Rate

?The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.
The proposition would repeal a constitutional provision that has limited the feasibility of creating a hospital district in Hidalgo County by imposing a limitation on the property tax rate (10 cents per $100 valuation) that a district created in that county may levy that is significantly lower than the limitation applicable to virtually all other hospital districts created throughout the state. The proposed amendment would facilitate the creation of a hospital district for the provision of health-related services to the community, which includes a high percentage of uninsured residents, and improve the region's ability to attract federal funds for emergency health care for the poor.
Some concern has been expressed about the potential effect of the proposed amendment on the property tax rate in Hidalgo County. If the voters approve the repeal of the constitutional provision that limits the property tax rate that a Hidalgo County hospital district could levy, general law would allow Hidalgo County voters to approve a higher property tax rate for a hospital district in the county.
#?9?Authorizing the Expansion of Sanctions that may be Assessed against a Judge or Justice Following a Formal Proceeding

?The constitutional amendment relating to expanding the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission of Judicial Conduct.
The joint resolution would amend the Texas Constitution, Article V, Section 1-a to authorize the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to add to its list of allowable disciplinary actions after a formal proceeding a public sanction. This sanction could take the form of an order of public admonition, warning, reprimand or a requirement for additional training or education.
No comments opposing the proposed amendment were made during the house and senate committee hearings or during floor debate in the house and senated chambers, and a review of other sources did not reveal any other apparent opposition.
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