A short synopsis of each proposal is below. See a more in-depth analysis of each item here.
Proposition 1: Proposes an increase in the constitutionally mandatory homestead tax exemption for school districts from $15,000 to $25,000. Additionally, it would allow the Legislature to prohibit the reduction or elimination of optional homestead exemptions established by non-school district taxing entities and would prohibit the enactment of a real estate transfer tax.
- Pro: Supporters say this change would give property owners some necessary relief from their ever-increasing tax liability.
- Con: Opponents believe the tax relief is minor and the reimbursement of the lost revenue by the state will result in little, if any, benefit to many homeowners.
- Pros: Supporters say the change would put an end to the two classes of surviving spouses created under current law and treat all surviving spouses the same regardless of the date of death of a totally disabled veteran.
- Cons: Opponents fear this practice could reduce tax money exponentially, causing the government to be lacking necessary funds for other projects.
- Pros: Supporters say that with changes in transportation and technology statewide elected officials no longer have to be present in Austin in order to perform their duties. Current limitations even prohibit an elected official from living in the suburbs of Austin.
- Cons: Opponents point out that current policy has been in effect for 140 years without problems. All statewide elected officials know of the requirement prior to election and should be willing to live in Austin as a condition of their service. Statewide officeholders should be present in their offices daily to be accessible to their staff and constituents.
- Pros: Supporters believe this opportunity would increase the funds pro sports teams are able to donate to charities and do some good for the community outside the stadium.
- Cons: Opponents of the proposal do so for reasons ranging from the argument that the practice would increase gambling in the state to an objection that the proposal is too narrow and does not go far enough in allowing anyone to have a raffle.
- Pros: The supporters of this proposal believe that since the overall population of Texas is growing, even some of the the smallest counties are larger than 5,000. Some counties that qualified when the provision was inserted in the Constitution in 1980 no longer qualify due to an increase in population. Population caps are necessary to prevent competition with private industry.
- Cons: Opponents believe there should be no constitutional population cap. Any county should be able to maintain a road as long as the private owner agrees and pays for the service.
- Pros: Supporters believe this amendment would seek to protect Texan’s right to hunt, fish, and tag more animals, which in return would also aid in the overpopulation of certain animals.
- Cons: Opponents consider this amendment as vague and worry that it will be a causeway for inhumane methods of hunting game.
- Pros: Supporters believe that a constant dedicated stream of revenue for road construction will help to fund our urgent transportation needs. There is a provision for a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to lower the set aside in times of economic downturn.
- Cons: Opponents are concerned that the dedication of $5 billion to transportation will further limit the choices legislators have to address pressing economic needs. Currently, the Legislature has control of only about 17 percent of the state budget for discretionary purposes. The additional dedication would reduce that even further.
The proposed amendments, if passed, will take effect on January 1, 2016.