Texas Proposition 5 (2007)

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Texas Proposition 5 appeared on the November 6, 2007 in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

Proposition 5 grants municipalities with a population under 10,000 the power to grant tax freezes for up to 5 years to property owners.

Proposition 5 appeared on the statewide November 2007 ballot in Texas along with fifteen other statewide propositions; all of them passed. All sixteen ballot measures were legislative referrals voted onto the ballot by the Texas State Legislature.

Election results

Texas Proposition 5 (2007)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 690,650 66.0%
No355,58334.0%

Overview

This amendment would apply only to municipalities receiving funding through the Downtown Revitalization Program or Main Street Improvement Program. If the measure is approved in the municipality then it would freeze taxes for 5 years and be subject to the following terms and conditions:

  • Have to be reached before December 31st of the tax year in which the election was held
  • Freeze all increases in ad valorem taxes for 5 years
  • Apply to all ad valorem taxes imposed by any political body
  • Expire on January 1st of the 6th year

Many of these areas that are being targeted by revitalization companies are hoping to erase "blight" from small communities and might possibly employ eminent domain.

Organizations or Entities that support Proposition 5:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Office of Rural and Community Affairs (OCPA)
  • Downtown Revitalization Program
  • Main Street Improvements
  • Texas Capital Fund
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Statement of Support

Supporters of this amendments hope that these programs will make participating cities more attractive destinations for tourists. They believe that currently many privately owned residences do not renovate their property due to worries about tax increases. Implementing this tax freeze would lift this fear and allow for community improvement and a greater source of revenue in 5 years.

Most of the time a TIF would be employed , but this program would be more tailored to rural areas.

Statement of Opposition

Would shift tax burdens to a very small portion of the community. Also other tax entities located in the community would have no way to protest the tax freeze since they cannot vote on it.

Others that oppose Proposition 5

  1. Lonestar Times had come out against it[1]
  2. Liberty Yes, Anarchy No blog believes "such exemptions would take the overall tax burden away from businesses and lay it heavier on homeowners and other individuals, making the property tax even more unfair."[2]

A Taxpayer's Perspective from the National Taxpayers Union

Proposition 5 would allow voters in small communities (less than 10,000 population) to enact a property tax abatement of up to five years for slum or blighted land to encourage economic development.

Text of measure

The short ballot summary voters saw on their ballot read: "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit the voters of a municipality having a population of less than 10,000 to authorize the governing body of the municipality to enter into an agreement with an owner of real property in or adjacent to an area in the municipality that has been approved for funding under certain programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture under which the parties agree that all ad valorem taxes imposed on the owner's property may not be increased for the first five tax years after the tax year in which the agreement is entered into."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

See also

External links

References

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