Texas Constitutional Amendment Propositions, Part I

On November 7, Texans will go to the polls to vote on 14 proposed amendments to the state constitution. Below is a summary of the first seven propositions, in the order they will appear on the ballot. Direct links to each proposition are also included for further reading.

Proposition 1: CSHJR 126 aims to amend the Texas Constitution to establish people's right to engage in accepted farm, ranch, timber production, horticulture, or wildlife management practices on their owned or leased property. However, the resolution preserves the Legislature's authority to regulate these practices for public health, animal health, crop production, and natural resource conservation.

Proposition 2: SJR 64 aims to change the Texas Constitution, allowing local governments to cut property taxes for child-care facilities by at least 50% of the property's value. State lawmakers can define the facilities and set eligibility rules for the tax exemption.

Proposition 3: CSHJR 132 suggests a change to the Texas Constitution to prevent the Legislature from imposing a tax on the net worth of individuals or businesses. The resolution clarifies that this wouldn't stop property taxes or a general business tax based on business activity.

Proposition 4: HJR 2 proposes amending the Texas Constitution to grant the Legislature the authority to limit the maximum appraised value of real property for property tax purposes, based on market value or a specified percentage of the previous year's appraised value. This limitation would take effect based on certain conditions and expire when property ownership changes. Additionally, the bill increases the school district residence homestead tax exemption from $40,000 to $100,000 and mandates reductions in the limitation for certain homesteads and exemptions. It also allows the Legislature to set term limits of up to four years for members of appraisal boards in populous counties.

Proposition 5: H.J.R. 3 suggests changing the name of the national research university fund to the Texas University Fund, allowing investment income transfers from the economic stabilization fund to the Texas University Fund. The goal is to financially support specific higher education institutions to become prominent research universities and contribute to the state's economy.

Proposition 6: CSSJR 75 proposes amending the Texas Constitution to establish the Texas Water Fund. Money sources for the fund include legislative appropriations, dedicated revenue, investment earnings, donations, and authorized returns. On January 1, 2024, $3 billion from the unencumbered balance of the general revenue fund would be transferred to the Texas Water Fund, with the fund's income dedicated constitutionally and appropriations treated as constitutionally dedicated revenues.

Proposition 7: CSSJR 93 proposes amending the Texas Constitution to create the Texas Energy Fund managed by the Public Utility Commission. This fund would provide loans and grants for electric generating facilities to ensure power grid reliability, without requiring additional appropriations. The fund's resources and appropriations would be constitutionally dedicated, with the ability to establish separate accounts and allow transfers between the fund and general revenue through legislative provisions.

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