Texas Proposition 5 (2009)
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The proposed amendment allows the establishment of a board of equalization for adjoining appraisal units. According to the proposed amendment, sponsored by Sens. Tommy Williams and Dan Patrick, no members of that board may be elected officials of a county "of a taxing unit." The bill is authored by Representives John Otto, Ryan Guillen and Patrick Rose.
|Texas Proposition 5|
Texas of measure
The short ballot summary Texas voters saw on their ballot was "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."
- See also: Amending the Texas Constitution
- "The Legislature, by general law, shall provide for a single board of equalization for each appraisal entity consisting of qualified persons residing within the territory appraised by that entity. The Legislature, by general law, may authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations. Members of a board of equalization may not be elected officials of a county or of the governing body of a taxing unit."
Section 18(c) previously read:
|The Legislature, by general law, shall provide for a single board of equalization for each appraisal entity consisting of qualified persons residing within the territory appraised by that entity. Members of the board of equalization may not be elected officials of the county or of the governing body of a taxing unit.|
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.
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 relating to Proposition 5 were reported.
Media editorial positions
Editorial boards in support
The Houston Chronicle supported the measure, along with Propositions 2 and 3:
“[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.”
Editorial boards opposed
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram opposed Proposition 5. In an editorial they 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: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas
The Texas House of Representatives approved the proposed amendment on April 27, 2009 with a vote of 142-0, followed by the State Senate on May 26, 2009 with a vote of 31-0. 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.
- HJR 36 summary from Texas Legislative Reference Library
- Texas Secretary of State Official Website
- Past Texas Amendment Election Results
- Amendment Overview
- Longview News-Journal,"Proposition 5," October 26, 2009
- KGNS-TV,"Eleven proposed constitutional amendments before Texas voters this November," October 19, 2009
- The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal,"Key items on ballot for Texans," October 18, 2009
- Fort Worth-Star Telegram, "Tuesday's ballot includes 11 constitutional amendments," November 1, 2009
- Kens5.com, "Election Guide: Proposition 5: Appraisal boards mergers," October 27, 2009
- Dallas Morning-News, "Texas proposition advocates make final push," November 2, 2009
- Texas Secretary of State, "Election Night Returns"
- Texas Secretary of State, "Official Ballot Language and Order for the Nov.3, 2009," July 28, 2009
- Lake Country Sun, "Propositions 5 through 8," October 1, 2009
- 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
- Enrolled Version of HJR 36