How you can educate Texas voters about statewide Prop 1
11/02/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff
Statewide Proposition 1 (the Homeowner Tax Relief Proposition) on the November 3 ballot gives Texas voters the chance to lower property taxes now and ban real estate transfer taxes forever … but you may be hearing some misinformation about it. Use these FAQs to help inform Texas voters about this important measure.
Will statewide Proposition 1 be on my ballot?
Yes. It will be listed with the six other constitutional amendments that are on every Texas voter’s ballot. The order of the propositions was assigned by the secretary of state through a random drawing. You can read them all on the secretary of state’s website.
Why am I hearing about more than one Proposition 1?
Some cities and counties are voting on local propositions, which you may have on your ballot in addition to the statewide propositions.
Is statewide Proposition 1 tied to something else?
No. Statewide Proposition 1 is about homeowner tax relief and is not related to anything else on your ballot—no matter where you live.
Proposition 1 will lower the amount homeowners pay in property taxes, but property taxes help fund our public schools. Won’t this take money away from the schools?
No. Lawmakers kept Texas schools in mind when drafting this measure, and the state will make up the difference so schools get fully funded and homeowners get a break.
… and how will that work?
The state must cover any shortage in school taxes made by raising the homestead exemption—it’s in the Texas Constitution. Thanks to increased oil and gas revenue and sales taxes collected by the state, we have a $6-$7 billion surplus in the state’s budget. Lawmakers decided that one of the best ways to return these surplus funds to taxpayers was to increase the homestead exemption. The state will use part of the surplus funds as a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement to school districts to make up the difference created by raising the homestead exemption. It’s already included in the state’s budget.
Texas doesn’t have real estate transfer taxes, so why do we need to ban them?
Thirty-six states (and Washington, D.C.) have some form of transfer taxes—Texas is one of the few states that doesn’t. But the issue comes up during legislative sessions, and unless we have a permanent ban on the tax, we’re always at risk of the tax being imposed during the next session.
Why does the proposition mention homeowners who are elderly or disabled?
Texas already allows homeowners who are at least 65 years old or disabled to pay lower school taxes and to have their school taxes frozen so they can’t ever go up—it’s in the Constitution. This language in the proposition ensures these homeowners enjoy the full benefit of the increased savings that statewide Proposition 1 provides.
Encourage your clients to visit texansforprop1.com to learn even more.
Pol. Ad. by the Texas Association of REALTORS®
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