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Response to MagickMuffin (Original post)

Mon Oct 14, 2013, 02:50 PM

11. Just Received An Email From Rep. Yvonne Davis Concerning the Amendments

I added the name of the person who authored the amendments. I hope this proves to be somewhat helpful!




Proposition No. 1 ……… Based on HJR 62 authored by Rep. Chris Turner (D, Grand Prairie)
Ballot Text: 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will provide a property tax exemption for all or part of the home for a military widow whose spouse was killed in action. To qualify for the property tax exemption, the military widow cannot remarry after the death of their U.S. military spouse. Also, the military widow can keep the property tax exemption on a new house, but the exemption is limited to the previously exempted amount so long as the widow remains unmarried. This proposed amendment will apply for all tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2014, if approved by voters.

Supporters Say: Military widows are deserving of financial relief after their loss, and this exemption will provide real financial assistance.

Opponents Say: Local governments may need to raise property taxes to offset the loss created by the exemption, and it may encourage out-of-state military windows to move to Texas.

Proposition No. 2 ……… Based on HJR 79 by Rep. Dan Branch (R, Dallas)
Ballot Text: The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.

Summary: The proposed amendment will remove the constitutional language that authorizes the State Medical Education Board (SMEB) and the State Medical Education Fund (SMEF). The SMEB and the SMEF were ineffective in their purpose of getting doctors to work in rural areas of Texas. Thereby, the functions of the SMEB and SMEF were transferred to another agency over 20 years ago.

Supporters Say: This removal would reduce our constitution and shrink state government by ending an obsolete governmental agency.

Opponents Say: No opposition was raised during the entire legislative process.

Proposition No. 3 ……… Based on HJR 133 by Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (R, Irving)
Ballot Text: 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 valorem 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will allow municipalities, counties, or school districts to increase the time for tax exemption status for aircraft parts that are temporarily held by Texas businesses with the sole purpose of assembly, storage, manufacturing, or other processing before being transported out of Texas. However, the date cannot last longer than the 730th day after the date the person acquired or imported the aircraft parts in Texas. This proposed amendment will apply for all tax years beginning on and after January 1, 2014, if approved by voters.

Supporters Say: This local governmental option could promote economic development because it is common for aircraft parts to remain in warehouses for a long time due to their nature.

Opponents Say: Issues on uniformity in taxation exist since other industries may seek a similar exemption. Because the costs to the state and local government are unpredictable, some reluctance existed for individuals.

Proposition No. 4 ……… Based on HJR 24 by Rep. Charles Perry (R, Lubbock)
Ballot Text: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will provide a partial property tax exemption for a disabled veteran's home when the home was donated by a charitable organization. The exemption would be equal to the percentage of the veteran's disability. Also, current unmarried, military widows can receive the exemption if their military spouse met certain qualifications before their death. Further, the proposed amendment does not affect other exemptions where the veteran qualifies.

Supporters Say: Since a donated home can be a financial burden and service injuries may limit employment, deserving veterans can remain in their donated homes with this amendment.

Opponents Say: Issues on uniformity in taxation exist since it singles out a specific group for an exemption. Also, local governments' property tax bases could diminish with passage.

Proposition No. 5 ……… Based on SJR 18 by Sen. John Carona (R, Dallas)
Ballot Text: 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will permit advances under a reverse mortgage for a home purchase when the buyer will occupy the home as their primary residence for a certain time after the mortgage closes. Additionally, a borrower must complete financial counseling before the reverse mortgage closes, and the lenders must provide detailed, written notices to a borrower that must be signed by all parties.

Supporters Say: Older Texans could buy a new house in one transaction using equity from their current home toward paying for the new home while requiring important safeguards.

Opponents Say: Home equity lending may leave senior Texans with greater debt than equity in their homes, which could make senior Texans more vulnerable to future financial difficulties.

Proposition No. 6 ……… Based on SJR 1 by Sen. Tommy Williams (R, The Woodlands)
Ballot Text: 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) as special funds to be controlled by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for carrying out the state water plan. Further, the amendment allows the legislature to authorize the TWDB to: 1) enter into bond enhancement agreements, 2) to finance water projects by direct loans, and 3) to issue bonds and enter into related credit agreements. Finally, the amendment authorizes the transfer or deposit of state revenue into either the SWIFT or SWIRFT without actually making a transfer or deposit itself. However, if the amendment is approved, $2 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund which is commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund would be transferred to SWIFT, as provided by H.B. 1025 of the 83rd Regular Legislative Session. Additionally, the proposed amendment's supporting law, H.B. 4, which was passed during the 83rd Regular Legislative Session contains more detailed information about the operation of the two water funds--SWIFT and SWIRFT.

Supporters Say: An adequate water supply is vital to Texans and Texas. So a proper funding program for water infrastructure is a necessary and proper use of the Rainy Day Fund.

Opponents Say: Using the Rainy Day Fund may leave Texas unable to respond to future emergencies. New funds are unnecessary since similar funds already exist for water development.

Proposition No. 7 ……… Based on HJR 87 by Rep. Sergio Munoz, Jr. (D, Palmview)
Ballot Text: 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.

Summary: The proposed amendment will authorize a municipality to provide the method including appointments to fill a vacancy on its governing body when the unexpired term is 12 months or less. However, the method must be specified in the municipality's charter or a charter amendment.

Supporters Say: The prevention of burdensome and costly special elections to fill a short-term vacancy better serves the community while preserving democratic accountability.

Opponents Say: Voting and elections are essential governmental functions that ensure democratic accountability. Corruption may occur by permitting appointments for vacant offices.

Proposition No. 8 ……… Based on HJR 147 by Rep. Bobby Guerra (D, Mission)
Ballot Text: The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.

Summary: The proposed amendment will repeal the constitutional provision that authorizes the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County and limits the property tax rate to support the hospital district to $0.10 for every $100 property valuation. However if approved, the amendment does not prevent Hidalgo County or an area within Hidalgo County from creating a hospital district.

Supporters Say: By removing the low property tax rate, Hidalgo County could create a sustainable hospital district that provides affordable healthcare to the county.

Opponents Say: By removing the restrictions on the property tax rate, Hidalgo County property owners may experience an increase in property taxes which could be as high as $0.75 for every $100 property valuation.

Proposition No. 9 ……… Based on SJR 42 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R, Houston)
Ballot Text: 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 on Judicial Conduct.

Summary: The proposed amendment will expand the punishments available to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for judges after a formal proceeding into judicial misconduct. The new punishments include an order of public admonition, warning, reprimand, or requirement that the judge or justice obtain additional training or education. The proposed amendment will only apply to proceedings occurring on or after January 1, 2014, if approved by voters.

Supporters Say: By allowing the commission to use its full range of disciplinary actions, the commission's ability to discipline judges and deter judicial misconduct would be enhanced.

Opponents Say: The expansion of the commission's authority may diminish the public's confidence in the judiciary and unfairly harm individual judges due to meritless claims. Also, the commission may need more resources since formal proceedings may increase if the amendment passes.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 OP
gopiscrap Oct 2013 #1
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #5
northoftheborder Oct 2013 #2
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #6
tanyev Oct 2013 #3
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #7
dem in texas Oct 2013 #4
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #8
flamin lib Oct 2013 #9
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #12
WolverineDG Oct 2013 #10
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #13
LineNew Reply Just Received An Email From Rep. Yvonne Davis Concerning the Amendments
MagickMuffin Oct 2013 #11
They_Live Oct 2013 #14
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