Constitutional Amendments MAY 7th VOTE – IMPORTANT!

Two very important propositions will appear on the May 7th ballot seeking to amend the Texas constitution. Because early voting begins Monday, April 25th (see Important 2022 Election Dates), it is important that we help get this information out to family and friends and encourage them to vote in favor of both ballot propositions (there may be other important issues on your local ballot, so everyone should be heading to the polls for the May 7th election).
We’ll get the easy one out of the way first. Proposition 2 is a no-brainer, plain and simple. It increases the homestead exemption by $15,000 for public school purposes. We would think most property owners would be in favor of this! Proposition 2 (SJR 2, 87th Legislature, 3rd Called Session) provides:
“The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $25,000 to $40,000.”
Please encourage everyone to vote FOR Proposition 2.
The wording of Proposition 1 has resulted in some serious head scratching by those who have read it. Proposition 1 states:
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”
School districts are statutorily limited as to how much they can tax per $100 valuation. HB 3 (2019) and Proposition 1 would allow the legislature to further reduce the statutory limit the school district can use for taxing purposes, thereby resulting in a reduction of taxes individuals pay to the school district. Based on information received from Senator Bettencourt, the author of both of the proposed constitutional amendments on the May 7th, 2022 ballot, SJR 2 (87th Legislature, 2nd Called Session) if passed by the voters will accomplish:
  • HB 3 from the 86th Legislature (2019) compressed school maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rates across the board EXCEPT for 65 and over (65+) or disabled because their tax rate already was lower than the new compressed rate for everyone else.
  • This amendment will provide for the same PERCENTAGE reduction for a 65+ or disabled individual’s school district tax rate that everyone else received in 2019.
  • Because of the complexity of the 65+ or disabled exemptions that are further explained in the linked press release, some homeowners with the 65+ or disabled exemptions won’t see the full benefits until additional legislative action is taken in 2023.
  • In addition, if there is additional school M&O tax rate compression provided by HB 3 in the future, individuals with a 65+ or disabled exemption will receive the same percentage tax rate deduction automatically if this amendment passes. See Sen. Bettencourt Press Release
The bottom line from the people who were on the drafting end of the resolution that put this amendment on the ballot is that individuals with a 65+ or disabled exemption on their home will receive a reduction on school district property taxes if the proposition passes. Moreover, if voters pass propositions 1 and 2, no school district will lose funding as any lost local revenue will be replaced by the state.
Please share this important information with your family and friends, encourage everyone to vote in the upcoming May 7th election, and to vote FOR Proposition 1 and FOR Proposition 2. By sharing your knowledge, you help TFRW build strong leaders for Texas and show how TFRW leads.
Kit Whitehill
Robbi Hull
VP Legislation