Empower Texans have released a voter guide for the 2011 Texas Constitution Amendments.
Below is their overview of the proposed amendments and links for more information.
The worst of the amendments are Propositions 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Propositions 2 and 3 would set in place permanent debt – allowing government agencies to issue bonds over and over without ever having to approach the citizens again for a vote. That’s an incredibly irresponsible way for government to treat debt.
Proposition 4, meanwhile, would open the door to Texas’ counties taking private property for the same kind of “economic development” reasons that has sparked so much outrage in cities across the country. We should be curtailing the ability of government to take private property, not increasing it.
Meanwhile, Proposition 7 would allow an El Paso County entity to start levying property taxes. We should be moving away from property taxes, not getting more governments hooked on them.
Finally, Proposition 6 would endanger the long-term viability of the state’s Permanent School Fund. It would allow a larger portion of the fund to be tapped for expenditure in the short-term, meaning fewer dollars would be available to grow the corpus and keep the fund viable into the future.
We are neutral on Propositions 8, 9 and 10, but do offer a summary on our website of what supporters and opponents are saying about them.
Finally, we are supporting Propositions 1 and 5.
Proposition 1 would recognize the sacrifice made by our 100% disabled veterans by granting a property tax exemption to them and their surviving spouses. The fine men and women who serve our nation by defending our liberties, and then find themselves fully disabled as a result, all too often find federal services difficult to access. Providing some property tax relief through Proposition 1 can at least allow Texas to step in where Uncle Sam too often has failed.
Proposition 5 will allow cities and counties to enter into cost-savings interlocal agreements of a year or longer without having to classify them as expenses if they are not. In the past, such agreements had been counted as debt and have a portion of their tax revenues set aside to cover it. But for those agreements that result in cost-savings, the old state of the law got in the way.
Hopefully, Proposition 5 will result in more local government seeking sensible agreements that save money and improve services.
All of us at Texans for Fiscal Responsibility encourage you to utilize the resources of various organizations to study these propositions and their impact on the Lone Star State. And, most importantly, we encourage you to participate in the Nov. 8 constitutional amendment election.
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com Team