Texas Agriculture September 18, 2015 : Page 20

Seven constitutional amendments due on November ballot By Jessica Domel Field Editor Texas voters will decide the fate of seven constitutional amendments this November. The propositions on November bal-lots include everything from property taxes to the right to hunt and fish in Texas. Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) policy supports three of the seven measures. The organization is neutral on the other four. Proposition 1 deals with the Tex-as Homestead Exemption for school district property taxes. “It means potentially, on their homestead, their property taxes will go down because they will get to take an additional $10,000 off the appraised value of their homestead,” TFB State Legislative Director Billy Howe said. The measure increases the home-stead exemption from property taxes levied by school districts from $15,000 to $25,000. The exemption was last increased in 1997. TFB policy supports the proposi-tion. Proposition 2 extends the current homestead exemption for surviving spouses of deceased or totally disabled veterans to spouses whose partners died before Jan. 1, 2010. “This is for the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. What happens sometimes is that whenever the vet-eran passes away—if the law doesn’t specifically say that the spouse con-tinues to qualify for that exemption— they’ll lose it and have to pay higher taxes,” Howe said. TFB policy is neutral on Proposi-tion 2. TFB policy is also neutral on Prop-osition 3 , which, if passed, would repeal the constitutional requirement that the governor, lieutenant gover-nor and others live in Austin while in office. For instance, the ag commissioner is required to move to Austin and live in Austin. “This proposition would remove that requirement to where your ag commissioner, comptroller or whom-ever you have can serve in those of-fices but still live somewhere outside of Austin,” Howe said. Others required to live in Austin are: the attorney general, land com-missioner and railroad commission-ers. Proposition 4 would authorize the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles. Texas Farm Bureau is neutral on Proposition 4. Proposition 5 authorizes counties with populations of 7,500 or less to construct and maintain private roads. “Under the Constitution, counties aren’t allowed to maintain private roads with taxpayer funds. They can only maintain public roads. In some smaller counties, these private roads are sometimes used by the public even though they’re private roads,” Howe said. “This constitutional amendment would allow the smaller counties to use taxpayer funds to maintain private roads that the public uses.” TFB policy is neutral on Proposi-tion 5. Proposition 6 is designed to en-sure that all Texans are guaranteed the right to hunt or fish, if they’d like, in the future. “There’s a concern that some of the groups that are against hunting and fishing might, as the state becomes more urban, push to try to outlaw hunting and fishing because they think it’s animal cruelty,” Howe said. “By putting the right to hunt and fish in the constitution, we’d better be able to protect the right to hunt and fish in the future.” The measure would also designate hunting and fishing as “preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.” TFB policy supports Proposition 6 and the following, Proposition 7. “It takes existing sales tax rev-enue and existing vehicle sales tax revenues and dedicates it to the State Highway Fund. It’s trying to provide additional money for road construction without raising taxes,” Howe said. Proposition 7 , if passed, would dedicate $2.5 billion of revenue from the sales and use tax annually to the State Highway Fund beginning Sept. 1, 2017. The $2.5 billion would be deposited into the State Highway Fund from state sales tax revenues above the first $28 billion that year. It would also dedicate 35 percent of the motor vehicle sales, use or rental tax collected in excess of $5 billion starting on Sept. 1, 2019. Proposition 7 is estimated to pro-vide an additional $2.9 billion per fiscal year to the State Highway Fund by 2019. The first day of early voting for the Nov. 3 Constitutional Amendment Election is Monday, Oct. 19. Early voting ends Oct. 30. Oak Creek Farms Forage Tested Bull Sale 6$785'$<&#0f;&#03;2&72%(5&#03;&#15;&#17;&#0f;&#03;&#15;&#13;&#14;&#18;&#03;Ã&#03;&#14;&#15;&#1d;&#16;&#13;&#03;3&#11;0&#11; Oak Creek Farms Sale Facility, Chappell Hill, Texas SELLING 130 FORAGE TESTED OCF BULLS 60 Brangus • 60 Red Brangus • 5 Angus • 5 Red Angus Source Verified Commercial Heifer Sale to follow Bull Sale S EPTEMBER 18 , 2015 )5,'$<&#0f;&#03;2&72%(5&#03;&#15;&#16;&#0f;&#03;&#15;&#13;&#14;&#18; &#19;&#1d;&#13;&#13;&#03;3&#11;0&#11;³6(0,1$5 Oak Creek Farms forage developed low maintenance cattle Seminar Speakers—Dr. Tommy Perkins, IBBA Exec. Vice President & Kevin Milliner, Zoetis RIBEYE STEAK DINNER to follow—sponsored by Zoetis Visit our website to read about our customer’s success and how you can achieve 80-90% choice or better with your OCF sired calves! Volume Discounts Available! Hotel Accomodations: Comfort Suites, Brenham, TX Special Rate—Oak Creek Farms 979-421-8100 Oak Creek Farms info@oakcreekfarms.com www.oakcreekfarms.com John & Carolyn Kopycinski • Chappell Hill, Texas • 979/836-6832 Directions from Houston: Hwy 290 (60 mi west) then 4 mi south on FM 1371 20 Oak Creek Farms -Celebrating our 48th Anniversary -Breeding Brangus Since 1967

Seven Constitutional Amendments Due on November Ballot

Jessica Domel

Texas voters will decide the fate of seven constitutional amendments this November.

The propositions on November ballots include everything from property taxes to the right to hunt and fish in Texas.

Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) policy supports three of the seven measures. The organization is neutral on the other four.

Proposition 1 deals with the Texas Homestead Exemption for school district property taxes.

“It means potentially, on their homestead, their property taxes will go down because they will get to take an additional $10,000 off the appraised value of their homestead,” TFB State Legislative Director Billy Howe said.

The measure increases the homestead exemption from property taxes levied by school districts from $15,000 to $25,000. The exemption was last increased in 1997.

TFB policy supports the proposition.

Proposition 2 extends the current homestead exemption for surviving spouses of deceased or totally disabled veterans to spouses whose partners died before Jan. 1, 2010.

“This is for the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. What happens sometimes is that whenever the veteran passes away—if the law doesn’t specifically say that the spouse continues to qualify for that exemption— they’ll lose it and have to pay higher taxes,” Howe said.

TFB policy is neutral on Proposition 2.

TFB policy is also neutral on Proposition 3 , which, if passed, would repeal the constitutional requirement that the governor, lieutenant governor and others live in Austin while in office.

For instance, the ag commissioner is required to move to Austin and live in Austin.

“This proposition would remove that requirement to where your ag commissioner, comptroller or whomever you have can serve in those offices but still live somewhere outside of Austin,” Howe said.

Others required to live in Austin are: the attorney general, land commissioner and railroad commissioners.

Proposition 4 would authorize the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles. Texas Farm Bureau is neutral on Proposition 4.

Proposition 5 authorizes counties with populations of 7,500 or less to construct and maintain private roads.

“Under the Constitution, counties aren’t allowed to maintain private roads with taxpayer funds. They can only maintain public roads. In some smaller counties, these private roads are sometimes used by the public even though they’re private roads,” Howe said. “This constitutional amendment would allow the smaller counties to use taxpayer funds to maintain private roads that the public uses.”

TFB policy is neutral on Proposition 5.

Proposition 6 is designed to ensure that all Texans are guaranteed the right to hunt or fish, if they’d like, in the future.

“There’s a concern that some of the groups that are against hunting and fishing might, as the state becomes more urban, push to try to outlaw hunting and fishing because they think it’s animal cruelty,” Howe said. “By putting the right to hunt and fish in the constitution, we’d better be able to protect the right to hunt and fish in the future.”

The measure would also designate hunting and fishing as “preferred methods of managing and controlling wildlife.”

TFB policy supports Proposition 6 and the following, Proposition 7.

“It takes existing sales tax revenue and existing vehicle sales tax revenues and dedicates it to the State Highway Fund. It’s trying to provide additional money for road construction without raising taxes,” Howe said.

Proposition 7, if passed, would dedicate $2.5 billion of revenue from the sales and use tax annually to the State Highway Fund beginning Sept. 1, 2017. The $2.5 billion would be deposited into the State Highway Fund from state sales tax revenues above the first $28 billion that year.

It would also dedicate 35 percent of the motor vehicle sales, use or rental tax collected in excess of $5 billion starting on Sept. 1, 2019.

Proposition 7 is estimated to provide an additional $2.9 billion per fiscal year to the State Highway Fund by 2019.

The first day of early voting for the Nov. 3 Constitutional Amendment Election is Monday, Oct. 19. Early voting ends Oct. 30.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Seven+Constitutional+Amendments+Due+on+November+Ballot/2271200/272999/article.html.

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