November Election News

Election Day: Tuesday, November 7th

NOVEMBER 2023 BALLOT PROPOSITION GUIDE

PROPOSITION 1: RIGHT TO FARMING, RANCHING, TIMBER, WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Ballot Language:¬†“The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 1 would establish the right of every Texans to participate in generally accepted farm, ranch, timber production, horticulture, or wildlife management practices on real property they owned or leased.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 2: PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR CHILDCARE FACILITIES

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 2 would allow the city councils, commissioner’s courts to exempt all or a portion of the appraisal value of their property tax which is used to operate a child-care facility. The property tax exemption cannot be less than 50% of the appraised value.

Recommendation: OPPOS
 

PROPOSITION 3: PROHIBITS TAXES ON WEALTH OR NET WORTH

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual wealth or net worth tax, including a tax on the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family.”

Brief Explanation:

Proposition 3 would prohibit future Texas Legislatures from imposing a tax on the net worth of individuals or business entities.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 4: PROPERTY TAX CHANGES AND STATE EDUCATION FUNDING

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to establish a temporary limit on the maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes; to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads from $40,000 to $100,000; to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts; to except certain appropriations to pay for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations; and to authorize the legislature to provide for a four-year term of office for a member of the board of directors of certain appraisal districts.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 4 appropriates over $12 billion of state funds to be used to reduce school property for all home and business owners. The constitutional amendment increases the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000 and for non-homestead properties valued at less than $5 million (residential and commercial properties) will receive a 20% circuit breaker on appraised value for a 3 year period (unless extended). Lastly, upon voter approval, Prop 4 would provide savings on the franchise tax for small businesses.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 5: RENAMES STATE UNIV. RESEARCH FUND & ESTABLISHES FUND SOURCE

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 5 renames the “National Research University Fund” as the “Texas University Fund,” to provide an ongoing revenue source for the fund, and make a multi-billion-dollar appropriation to increase the body of the fund.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you believe Texas needs to provide additional funding to their universities to create an educated workforce and research-driven solutions needed to handle the state’s growing population which has and will continue to strain Texas’ infrastructure and public resources. 

Oppose if you believe money pulled from Texas’ Economic Savings Account (also known as the “Rainy Day Fund”) would be better spent on other issues, like state infrastructure or rising property taxes.

PROPOSITION 6: CREATION OF THE TEXAS WATER FUND

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 6 would authorize the creation of the Texas Water Fund (administered by the Texas Water Development Board, to provide funding solutions to tackle concerns over the demand for water as Texas’ population continues to grow.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 7: CREATION OF TEXAS ENERGY FUND

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.”

Brief Explanation:¬†Proposition 7 would create the Texas energy fund. Money in the fund could be administered and used, without further appropriation, only by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) or its successor to provide loans and grants to finance or incentivize the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities, including associated infrastructure, necessary to ensure the reliability or adequacy of an electric power grid in the state. PUC would be required to allocate money from the fund for loans and grants to eligible projects for electric generating facilities that served as backup power sources and in each region of the state in proportion to that region’s load share in an electric power grid. Money in the fund would be considered constitutionally dedicated and an appropriation of state tax revenues for the fund would be treated as if it were an appropriation of constitutionally dedicated revenues.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you support providing favorable loans and grants to energy providers for the construction and operations purposes for their facilities, if you disagree then oppose the proposition.

PROPOSITION 8: CREATION OF THE TEXAS BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE FUND

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 8 would create the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund and requires the Comptroller to transfer $5 billion to the fund from the Economic Savings Account (also known as the Rainy Day Fund). Money in the fund could be used only for the expansion of access to and the adoption of broadband and telecommunications services, including the development and operation of infrastructure. The Legislature would be required to provide for the manner in which fund assets could be used by general law.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you believe $5 billion from the budget surplus should be used to fund broadband infrastructure to Texas’ rural communities. Oppose if you believe broadband accessibility should be solved by the private sector, such as Starlink, to help meet the needs of those that live in rural areas of Texas.

PROPOSITION 9: COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT FOR TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 9 would allow the Texas Legislature to provide one or more cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) or supplemental payments as benefit enhancements to annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) who were eligible for the enhancements. The Legislature could provide such a benefit enhancement and direct the Texas Comptroller to transfer funds to TRS for the payment of the enhancement only if TRS was actuarially sound and the Legislature appropriated money in a sufficient amount to fully pay for the enhancement, as determined by the TRS board of trustees.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 10: TAX EXEMPTION ON MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND INVENTORY

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation equipment or inventory held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products to protect the Texas healthcare network and strengthen our medical supply chain.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 10 would authorize the Texas Legislature to provide a property tax exemption for the tangible personal property held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products as a finished good or to be used in the manufacturing or processing of medical or biomedical products.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you believe the property tax savings that medical or biomedical manufacturers would receive could be better used at reducing their costs or researching advancements in medical technology. Oppose if you believe and understand that a property tax exemption for these manufacturers could lead to increases in your property taxes.

PROPOSITION 11: CONSERVATION & RECLAMATION DISTRICTS IN EL PASO COUNTY

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 11 would add El Paso County to the list of counties containing a conservation or reclamation district (joining Bexar, Bastrop, Waller, Travis, Williamson, Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Montgomery Counties, and Tarrant Regional Water District). If added, the Legislature could authorize bonds payable from property taxes for the district’s development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.

Recommendation: OPPOSE
 

PROPOSITION 12: ABOLISH GALVESTON TREASURER

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County.”

Brief Explanation: If this proposition is passed, office of County Treasurer in Galveston County would be abolished. The Galveston County Commissioners Court would then authorize a qualified person or to assign another county officer to perform any of the duties that would have been otherwise performed by the abolished office.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you believe that abolishing the County Treasurer Office would increase government efficiency for the residents of Galveston County. Oppose if you believe the County Treasurer provides a vital role to the Galveston County Government and by abolishing the office will just lead to other parts of the county government to be bogged down with additional duties.

PROPOSITION 13: INCREASE THE MANDATORY RETIREMENT AGE FOR STATE JUDGES

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 13 would change the mandatory retirement age for a justice or judge to 79 or an earlier age, not less than 75.

Recommendation: SUPPORT

PROPOSITION 14: CREATION OF THE CENTENNIAL PARKS CONSERVATION FUND

Ballot Language: “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks.”

Brief Explanation: Proposition 14 would establish the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, supervised by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which will provide a dedicated funding source for the acquisition and development of state parks in Texas. Upon passage, the Texas Comptroller will transfer $1 billion of the unencumbered balance of Texas’ general revenue fund that existed on that date to the centennial parks conservation fund on January 1, 2023 and expires December 31, 2024.

Vote Recommendation: NO RECOMMENDATION

Support if you believe Texas State Parks needs the creation of a fund to provide funding for new state parks to increase travel to state parks and therefore providing economic development to the state. Oppose if you do not believe the creation of this fund is not the proper role of government and have concerns with creation of another government fund

Thank you,

Matthew Okerson
3rd VICE PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN & LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
le[email protected]