About Proposition 3: 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 3: Allowing State Enforcement of Uniform Property Appraisal Standards

“This proposition would …  require that administrative and judicial enforcement of uniform standards and procedures for proerty tax appraisal be rprescribed by general law enacted by the Texas Legislature. It would delete the existing requirement that enforcement of these appraisal procedures originate in the county where the tax is imposed.” –League of Women Voters Guide

Source: Endorsement:
Austin Chronicle: YES. “but trivial. If constitutional authorization is needed for uniform standards, the government's doing it wrong.”
El Paso Times: YES. “Prop. 3 would establish uniform appraisal standards statewide.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: NO. “Call this one the Big Government Amendment. Prop 3 says that the mostly county-based central appraisal districts have not done a good job and that the Legislature should take over. As if letting lawmakers big-foot their way through it every two years would solve any problems that the current system has.”
Houston Tea Party Patriots: YES. “It would allow appraisal standards to be enforced by direct action against appraisal districts, rather than relying on penalties against school districts. Since state funding to school districts is partially based on local property value, it's unfair to allow values to be determined differently in different counties.”
Sen. Kirk Watson's “Watson Wire:” YES. “Hopefully, this will reduce the wide variations in the way appraisal districts set property tax values.”

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

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About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.

1 Comment

  1. confused about this ammendment
    I got an email earlier today urging me to vote against this proposition. It took me to the website of “Independent Texans” where they quoted a lobbyist saying

    “State Representative Otto wheeled this thing out last minute at the end of the session.  What he's really after is this: he wants the state to run the appraisal system with 9 regional offices.  Local control will vanish.  And when you get a screwy appraisal you might wind up driving a few hundred of miles to protest your appraisal. It just makes a rotten system completely rank.”

    I don't know anything about this group and even less about the proposition but I do know that I was able to take the bus to my property tax hearing (which I lost) and I'm concerned that by making the appraisal districts bigger it will become even more difficult to fix broken systems like the one we have right now in Travis county.

    Really looking forward to some BOR analysis of this proposition.  

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