Texas Single Board of Equalization, Proposition 5 (2009)
The measure authorized the legislature to establish a board of equalization for adjoining appraisal units. The board of equalization is a public agency responsible for the tax administration and fee collection of adjoining appraisal districts, as defined by the tax code. According to the proposed amendment, no members of that board may be elected officials of a county "of a taxing unit." The bill was authored by Representives John Otto (R-18), Ryan Guillen (D-31) and Patrick Rose (D-45) and sponsored by Sens. Tommy Williams (R-4) and Dan Patrick (R-7).
|Texas Proposition 5 (2009)|
Election Results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
|“||The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
- See also: Amending the Texas Constitution
|Section 18. Equalization of Valuations; Single Appraisal|
Supporters of the amendment stated that the benefits of enacting the measure included a more efficient operation of government with a consolidated appraisal review board than separate boards. According to a review by the Lake County Sun, supporters stated that counties that were not highly populated, under previous procedures, found it hard to secure qualified candidates to sit on their appraisal review boards.
The National Taxpayers Union supported Proposition 5 because they argued that it would streamline the process for property taxes that reside on the border of two jurisdictions. NTU gave it a positive rating in their 2009 General Election Ballot Guide.
No committees or contributions to campaigns in support of Proposition 5 were reported.
Those against the measure stated that residents of an appraisal district should be the ones to decide appeals of appraisals. According to those who opposed the measure, local review boards were familiar with their area and the components that make up their economy, thus making passage of the amendment unnecessary. Candidates from other counties who are unfamiliar with the economic aspects of the area they are injected in may disrupt local issues, said opponents.
No committees or contributions to campaigns in opposition to Proposition 5 were reported.
Media editorial positions
- The Houston Chronicle said, “[Proposition 5] is designed primarily to assist less populated areas around the state where finding qualified people to handle the appraisal process is sometimes a problem. It is written to be “permissive,” which means a larger entity cannot force a smaller one to participate without its consent. We encourage passage of Propositions 2, 3 and 5.”
- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said, "This is an example of how the Texas Constitution gets bound up in pointless change. Prop 5 would allow appraisal districts in adjacent counties to have consolidated appraisal review boards to handle property-owner appeals. Adjacent counties can already consolidate their appraisal districts and thus their appraisal review boards. The argument for this amendment is that some counties have trouble recruiting qualified review board members. If that’s true, it would also be true of recruiting qualified appraisal district staff. Consolidation as already allowed makes sense. Prop 5 is a solution searching for a problem."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Texas Constitution
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.
- Texas 2009 ballot measures
- 2009 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- Texas Constitution and Statutes, "Tax Code," accessed April 28, 2014
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "HJR 36, 81st Regular Session," accessed April 24, 2014
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 20, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 20, 2015
- Texas Secretary of State, "Official Ballot Language and Order for the Nov.3, 2009 Constitutional Amendment Election," July 28, 2009
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Texas Legislature Online, "81(R) HJR 36," accessed April 24, 2014
- Lake Country Sun, "Propositions 5 through 8," October 1, 2009 (dead link)
- Follow the Money, Proposition 5
- Houston Chronicle, "State constitutional amendments would streamline, equalize appraisal process," October 14, 2009
- Star-Telegram, "Nov. 3 election recommendations," October 16, 2009 (dead link)
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