About Proposition 2: Texas Constitutional Amendments

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This post is from Burnt Orange Report's coverage of the 2009 Constitutional Amendment election. For coverage of the 2011 Constitutional Amendment election, CLICK HERE.

Early voting is on for the Constitutional Amendments election. Today and tomorrow, Burnt Orange Report will be providing some information about the 11 propositions on the ballot. Our aim is to give a broad sense of how different Texas entities perceive these amendments. In the table below, we've compiled their yea, nay, or no-endorse. Sources are all linked at the bottom. Friday, BOR will issue our official endorsements on some or all of these amendments. For more on the Amendment process, see the post on Amendment 1.




Proposition 2: Requiring Appraisal of Residence Homesteads Based on Homestead Value
“Residence homesteads throughout the state have experienced increasing appraisal values, in some instances more than 200 percent in one year, especially if the property is not covered by zoning regulations. … This amendment  authorizes the legislature to require that a residence be appraised only on the basis of the property's value as a residence, regardless of what the highest and best use of the property may be. It would only apply to residential homesteads, not to secondaryhomes or investment properties.” –League of Women Voters Guide

Source: Endorsement:
Austin Chronicle: NO. “Just another backdoor way to slash taxes on valuable property, thereby undermining the public schools and other community needs.”
El Paso Times: YES. “These would help partially reform the out-of-control residential appraisal system.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: NO. “It sounds good, but there's no logical reason why someone who can sell their property for a higher value (say, for a pending commercial development) shouldn't be taxed according to fair market value. The appraisal appeals process is designed to rectify special cases that fall outside of this general rule … There's no good reason to use a constitutional amendment meat cleaver to accomplish that task.”
Houston Tea Party Patriots: YES. “This is a property rights and taxpayer protection issue. … This is key to homeowners to keep their property from being taxed at a higher rate in some urban areas where the land might be more valuable as a shopping mall or other enterprise.”
Sen. Kirk Watson's “Watson Wire:” YES. “This stops appraisal districts from appraising a homeowner's property based on the value that it'd have as, say, a shopping mall or office building.”

These posts will continue throughout today and tomorrow. Endorsements by the Burnt Orange Report staff will follow on Friday.

Sources:

League of Women Voters Guide (PDF)

Austin Chronicle Endorsements, October 16, 2009

El Paso Times, October 18, 2009

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Endorsements, October 16, 2009

Houston Tea Party Patriots, October 15, 2009

Sen. Kirk Watson's Watson Wire, October 12, 2009

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

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