Texas Tax Exemptions for Travel Trailers, Proposition 14 (2001)
The Texas Tax Exemptions for Travel Trailers Amendment, also known as Proposition 14, was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure exempted registered travel trailers not held or used for production of income from property taxes.
|Texas Proposition 14 (2001)|
Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
The ballot title voters saw on their ballot read as:
|“||The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to authorize taxing units other than school districts to exempt from ad valorem taxation travel trailers that are not held or used for the production of income.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
Proposition 14 amended Section 1 of Article 8 of the Texas Constitution.
The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 14 which read as follows:
|“||Section 1, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, provides that all real
property and tangible personal property, unless exempt as required or permitted by the constitution, shall be taxed according to its value. Any exemption from ad valorem taxation not granted or authorized by the Texas Constitution is void. Neither the legislature nor a local government that imposes ad valorem taxes may exempt any property from ad valorem taxation without constitutional authority.
Section 1, Article VIII, requires the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation household goods and personal effects not held or used for the production of income. That section also authorizes the legislature to exempt certain other personal property from ad valorem taxes, including personal property homesteads (personal property exempt by law from seizure to satisfy debt), leased motor vehicles, and all other tangible personal property not held or used for the production of income, other than structures used or occupied as residential dwellings. Under these provisions and other applicable law, travel trailers may fall into any of several categories. A travel trailer that has been permanently attached tothe land may be treated as real property. If used as the owner’s primary residence, such a trailer may qualify for exemptions and other tax relief applicable to residence homesteads. Otherwise, the travel trailer that constitutes real property is fully taxable. Travel trailers not attached to the land constitute tangible personal property and, if not used for income, are exempt from taxation unless a particular taxing unit elects to tax them under Section 11.14, Tax Code. Two recent opinions of the attorney general addressing the ad valorem tax status of travel trailers illustrate the complexity of applying the tax laws to travel trailers and the potential for inconsistency or misunderstanding by local taxing officials. See Op. Tex. Att’y Gen. Nos. JC-150 (1999), JC-282 (2000).
House Joint Resolution No. 44, if adopted, will amend Section 1, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, to authorize the legislature to authorize a taxing unit, other than a school district, to exempt from ad valorem taxation any travel trailer, as defined by the legislature, that is registered in this state in compliance with the laws relating to the registration of vehicles and is not held or used for the production of income.
House Bill No. 2076, enacted by the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001, is the enabling legislation to implement the exemption authorized by the constitutional amendment proposed by House Joint Resolution No. 44. The bill, which takes effect only if the proposed amendment is adopted, would add a new Section 11.142, Tax Code, to authorize the governing body of a taxing unit, other than a school district, to exempt travel trailers, as defined by Section 11.142, from taxation if the travel trailers are registered in compliance with the vehicle registration laws of this state and are not held or used for the production of income. Section 11.142 would take effect January 1, 2002, and apply only to taxes imposed in 2002 and subsequent years. If the amendment is approved by the voters, travel trailers not otherwise exempt from taxation will continue to be taxed by each taxing unit in this state until the taxing unit elects to exempt those trailers. 
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.
- Texas 2001 ballot measures
- 2001 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments: November 6, 2001, Election," September 2001
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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