For an introduction to this section and background, see Texas State Government.
Recent News Articles
- KERA.com: “Your November 2019 North Texas Voting Guide,” https://www.keranews.org/post/your-november-2019-north-texas-voting-guide
- Benbrook News: “Ten Texas Constitutional Amendments on Nov. 5 Ballots,” https://www.suburban-newspapers.com/ewExternalFiles/Benbrook%20News%2010-17-19.pdf
- “Texans: Get ready to vote on updating the state’s 143-year-old constitution,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Oct 18, 2019) https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article235266652.html
- “Texans, here’s how you can help fight cancer — from the ballot box,” [editorial] Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Oct 14, 2019) https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article236035823.html
- “Texans will be asked to ban income taxes. Why that brings fears of unintended consequences,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Oct 9, 2019) https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article235873582.html
- “New ballot measure would let Texas police dogs, horses retire with trainer or handler,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Oct 4, 2019) https://www.star-telegram.com/news/politics-government/article235263832.html
- “10 Texas constitutional amendments slated for November ballot,” Statesman (May 29, 2019) https://www.statesman.com/news/20190529/10-texas-constitutional-amendments-slated-for-november-ballot [Note: This is behind a pay wall.]
- “Texas lawmakers may have inadvertently created a corporate tax loophole” Reform Austin (August 7, 2019) https://www.reformaustin.org/2019/08/07/texas-lawmakers-may-have-inadvertently-created-a-corporate-tax-loophole/
Proposed Amendments for 2019
TEXAS PROPOSITION 1
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.
Enmienda constitucional que permite a una persona ocupar más de un cargo como juez municipal al mismo tiempo.
|If I vote FOR||Currently, appointed judges can serve in more than one municipality at a time, but elected judges are restricted to one. If this proposition passes, both appointed and elected judges could serve more than one municipality. This could make it easier to fill these positions in smaller towns with fewer resources, allowing judges to serve several communities in their region.|
|If I vote AGAINST||If the proposition fails, appointed judges would still be able to serve more than one municipality, but elected judges would only be allowed to serve the community in which they were elected. This could encourage elected judges to focus their attentions on more local concerns.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 2
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
Enmienda constitucional que prevé la emission adicional de bonos de obligaciones generales por parte de la Junta de Desarrollo de Recursos Hídricos de Texas por un monto que no exceda los $200 millones, para brindar asistencia financiera para el desarrollo de ciertos proyectos en áreas con dificultades económicas.
|If I vote FOR||The Texas Water Development Board’s Economically Distressed Area Program (EDAP) maintains and develops water supply and sewage infrastructure in economically distressed communities. EDAP is currently funded by bonds approved by voters in statewide elections in 1989 and 2007, but those bonds have all been issued. If this proposition is approved, new bonds will be issued to continue funding this program.|
|If I vote AGAINST||If this proposition is not approved, the cost of these programs would be added to the state budget to be covered by general revenue funds. The Legislative Budget Board estimates the cost to be $3.5 million through fiscal year 2020-2021. Projects could lose funding if other programs are given higher priority in future state budgets.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 3
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.
Enmienda constitucional que autoriza a la Legislatura considerer una exención temporal de los impuestos ad valorem de una parte del valor de tasación de ciertos bienes dañados por un esastre.
|If I vote FOR||Owners of property damaged in a disaster would be eligible for temporary property tax exemptions as they deal with the after effects of the disaster.|
|If I vote AGAINST||Current policy would continue to apply...to get tax relief in the aftermath of a disaster, property owners would have to have their property reappraised and apply for a tax rate reduction based on damage.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 4
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual's share of partnership and unincorporated association income.
Enmienda constitucional que prohíbe la imposición de un impuesto sobre la renta individual, incluido un impuesto sobre los ingresos de una persona participante en una sociedad o en una asociación no incorporada.
|If I vote FOR||The Texas Constitution already prohibits a personal income tax unless it is approved by voters. Referring a referendum to voters currently requires a simple majority vote in both chambers of the Texas Legislature. If this proposition passes, a personal income tax could only be enacted in the future if the ban is removed by a constitutional amendment, requiring approval by two-thirds majorities in both chambers and a public referendum.|
|If I vote AGAINST||Introduction of a personal income tax would continue to require approval by voters.|
|Tax Consequences||None immediately. Texas does not have a personal income tax and will continue to not have a personal income tax whether this proposition passes or fails. However, the Texas Legislative Board has found that the wording of this proposition banning an income tax on an “individual” as opposed to a “natural person” (the term used in the Texas Constitution’s section on taxation) could be interpreted as applying to businesses currently subject to the state’s franchise tax. The franchise tax added $7 billion to the state’s general revenue in 2018-2019, much of that funding education. Loss of that revenue would require deep cuts and/or increases of other taxes in future state budgets.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 5
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas' natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.
Enmienda constitucional que asigna los ingresos derivados de los actuales impuestos estatales sobre la venta y el uso aplicados a los artículos deportivos, al Departamento de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas y a la Comisión Histórica de Texas para proteger las áreas naturales, la calidad del agua y la historia de Texas mediante la adquisición, gestión y mejoramiento de los parques y sitios históricos estatales y locales, sin aumentar la tasa impositiva sobre la venta y el uso.
|If I vote FOR||All of the revenue already being collected from the sales tax on sporting goods would go to Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Historical Commission as originally intended. Currently, many of these funds are being used to certify the biennial budget.|
|If I vote AGAINST||The existing tax will continue to be collected and used for purposes other than supporting parks and historic sites.|
|Tax Consequences||None. This tax is already being collected and will not change.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 6
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Enmienda constitucional que autoriza a la Legislatura aumentar en $3,000 millones la cantidad máxima de bonos autorizada para el Instituto de Prevención e Investigación del Cáncer de Texas.
|If I vote FOR||The establishment of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) was originally approved by voters in 2009, and it was allowed to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund cancer research and prevention. If this proposition passes, an additional $3 billion in bonds could be issued to continue work into the future. The initial funds are expected to be exhausted by 2023.|
|If I vote AGAINST||No new bonds would be issued.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 7
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.
Enmienda constitucíonal que permite mayores distribuciones al fondo escolar disponible.
|If I vote FOR||Schools in Texas get much of their operating budgets from the money generated by public lands. This money is collected by the General Land Office (GLO)...they give part to the State Board of Education (SBOE) to be invested in the Permanent School Fund (PSF), and then they also put up to $300 million per school year directly into the Available School Fund (ASF) to be distributed to school districts. The SBOE is also allowed to transfer a percentage of the interest generated by the PST into the ASF. If this proposition passes, both the GLO and the SBOE would be allowed to transfer up to $600 million per school year to the ASF, raising the amount of public funding for schools when revenues are available.|
|If I vote AGAINST||Current funding caps will remain in place, and responsibility for managing the PSF will continue to be shared by the GLO and SBOE.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 8
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.
Enmienda constitucional que prevé la creación del fondo de infraestructura contra inundaciones para ayudar a financiar proyectos de alcantarillado, mitigación de inundaciones y control de inundaciones.”
|If I vote FOR||The Flood Infrastructure Fund would be created, and the Texas Water Development Board would use it to provide financing for flood prevention and mitigation projects. Initial funding would come from the “rainy day fund” and continuing revenue would come from a variety of sources including legislative appropriations, general obligation and/or revenue bonds, interest, grants and donations.|
|If I vote AGAINST||If the proposition fails, the Flood Infrastructure Fund would not be created, limiting the state’s preparation for and response to flooding.|
|Tax Consequences||No immediate impact|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 9
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.
Enmienda constitucional que autoriza a la Legislatura eximir de impuestos ad valorem a los metales preciosos guardados en un depósito de metales preciosos con sede en este Estado.
|If I vote FOR||Texas currently taxes owners of precious metals stored in Texas depositories including privately run depositories and the state-run Texas Bullion Depository. This proposition would exempt precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, etc.) from property taxes. Supporters say this tax exemption would make Texas depositories more competitive with those in states that do not tax precious metals.|
|If I vote AGAINST||Precious metals would continue to be subject to property taxes. Opponents to this proposition fear that industries and businesses with large holdings of precious metals could move them to depositories to avoid paying taxes on them.|
TEXAS PROPOSITION 10
|Ballot Proposition||The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.
Enmienda constitucional para permitir, en cierta circunstancias, la transferencia de animales de las furerzas del orden a un cuidador calificado.
|If I vote FOR||Currently, retired law enforcement animals are considered public property, and the Texas Constitution doesn’t allow public property to be transferred to private use at no cost. This makes it difficult for handlers to adopt their law enforcement animals when they are retired. This proposition would allow the transfer of retired law enforcement animals to their handlers or other qualified caretakers at no cost, allowing them to spend their golden years in the homes they’ve known their entire lives.|
|If I vote AGAINST||Retired law enforcement animals will continue to be treated as surplus or salvage public property, and their handlers will continue to face difficulties and costs in trying to adopt them.|