Commentary

Voters to decide fate of 11 amendments

Friday (Oct. 30) is the last day you can vote for on 11 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.

It is legal to take a sheet listing these propositions and the way you want to cast your vote to the voting machine. You can use this article as the list.

Proposition 1 allows municipalities and counties of buffer area or spaces adjacent to a military installation to protect military from encroachments. Proponents say encroachments may restrict missions and training and this may result in closing the base.

Those against Proposition 1 say that this would put a financial burden on cities which they do not need. This might lead to higher property taxes for property owners.

Proposition 2 concerns the authorization of the legislatures to provide an ad valorem tax on the value of the home.

Those arguments suppor ting this amendment claim that appraisal values increase because of the "highest and best use" method. This amendment authorizes the legislature to require that the property be appraised only on the current value of the home and not on its potential.

Those against Proposition 2 say that the "highest and best use" method impacts the sales price and lowering the taxes may result in reducing property values and loss of local tax revenues.

Proposition 3 provides uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.

This would amend the Texas Constitution so that counties are not responsible for the originating the appraisals and enforcing them.It would legislate uniform standards and procedures for property tax procedures. The state would oversee county appraisal process to attain uniformity and equity of the appraisal. Proponents say property owners in different counties would have the assurance their property is being appraised in a similar manner.

Those against Proposition 3 argue that the state trains the county appraisers, so the treatments of property owners in different counties are appraised in a similar manner and that the amendment would give up local control to the state, which may not understand local needs.

Proposition 4 would transfer funds from the Higher Education Fund to the National Research University Fund. Proponents point out that only the University of Texas and Texas A&M achieve national prominence as major research universities, so, adding seven more emerging research universities greatly increases opportunities for Texas students within the state.

Opponents say Texas should stay focused of the schools that are closest to tier-one status. There is no sunset provision to assess the progress of the schools mentioned to see if the goals are being met.

Proposition 5 would authorize legislators to set a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities to allow for consolidated equalizations.

Arguments for recognize that finding qualified and willing citizens to sit on an appraisal board is difficult. This allows counties to pool efforts to find and use the best people available.

Those against, fear that citizens from adjoining counties may not understand the other county's needs.

Proposition 6 would allow Veterans' Land Board to issue general obligation bonds equal to or less than amounts previously authorized.

Proposition 7 would allow an officer or enlisted member to hold other civic offices.

Proposition 8 authorizes the state to contribute money, property, and other resources to establish and run veteran hospitals.

Proposition 9 protects the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

Proposition 10 would limit the terms of elected members of governing boards of emergency service districts to four years.

Proposition 11 restricts the use of eminent domain for public use and not for economic development or tax enhancement.

More details are found at www.lwvtexas.org.

tedh@alpha1.net


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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