Since Oct. 21, Texas voters have been taking to the polls to decide on 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution. Early voting ends Friday, and Election Day is Tuesday.
One proposed amendment has garnered plenty of attention thanks to some confusion the language of the proposition has caused. Proposition No. 4 (HJR 38) proposes an amendment prohibiting the state from imposing or collecting an individual income tax. Because the proposition is worded on the ballot to “prohibit the imposition” of an income tax,” a vote “for” the amendment is a vote against the tax.
All 10 propositions are as follows, as explained by the Texas Secretary of State’s office:
Proposition No. 1
HJR 72 proposes a constitutional amendment permitting an elected municipal judge to serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time. Unlike an appointed municipal judge, an elected municipal judge may not concurrently hold another municipal judge office. This amendment would allow an elected municipal judge to serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time.
Proposition No. 2
SJR 79 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds, in an amount that does not exceed $200 million, for the economically distressed areas program..
Proposition No. 3
HJR 34 proposes a constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to temporarily exempt from ad valorem taxation a portion of certain property located in an area covered by a disaster declaration of the governor. The proposed amendment would allow the legislature to prescribe the method of determining the amount of the tax exemption and the duration of the exemption.
Proposition No. 4
HJR 38 proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from imposing or collecting an individual income tax, including an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income. There is no current constitutional bar on imposing or collecting an individual income tax.
Proposition No. 5
SJR 24 proposes a constitutional amendment that would automatically appropriate the net revenue received from the portion of the state’s tax revenue received on sales of sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.
Proposition No. 6
HJR 12 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas from $3 billion to $6 billion to be issued by the Texas Public Finance Authority. CPRIT was created in 2007 to promote and fund cancer research in Texas.
Proposition No. 7
HJR 151 proposes a constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions from $300 million per year to $600 million per year to the available school fund and also allowing the State Board of Education, the General Land Office, and other entities that manage revenue from land or other properties held in the permanent school fund to distribute certain revenue to the available school fund.
Proposition No. 8
HJR 4 proposes a constitutional amendment creating the flood infrastructure fund as a special fund in the state treasury, using money appropriated from the economic stabilization fund. The flood infrastructure fund would provide additional resources to implement plans to mitigate flood damage. The proposed amendment would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to use money in the flood infrastructure fund for drainage, flood mitigation, or flood control projects.
Proposition No. 9
HJR 95 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to create a property tax exemption for precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.
Proposition No. 10
SJR 32 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to allow a state agency or political subdivision to transfer a law enforcement animal to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker in certain circumstances. Currently, the Texas Constitution prevents the transfer of certain public property, such as law enforcement animals, to a private person or organization at no cost.