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Texas Votes: What Property Issues Are On The Ballot?

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Texans across the state are headed to the polls Tuesday. While most ballots will consist of local elections, several statewide propositions are up for consideration. Two in particular could affect property owners in the Lone Star State. 

Proposition 3 focuses on disaster relief initiatives in governor-declared disaster areas, like those affected by Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Imelda. The proposition would temporarily exempt property owners in those specific areas from a portion of the taxes for the property’s appraised value. Proponents of the change say the proposition would bring quick relief to areas devastated by storms, making it easier and more affordable for local municipal governments to reassess the property. Critics say the proposition still leaves too much discretion to local governments, which would decide themselves whether or not to exempt property from a portion of the property taxes. The League of Women Voters of Texas argues the relief should be mandatory and that even if the proposition passes, properties still could be subject to expensive reappraisals.

Proposition 8 seeks to create a Texas State Treasury-backed Flood Infrastructure Fund for the Texas Water Development Board to pay for drainage, flood mitigation or flood-control projects. The ballot measure calls for using $793M from the state’s rainy day fund for the flood infrastructure fund. The proposition is widely supported across the state, earning endorsements from the Austin-American Statesman, the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News. Critics say municipal governments play the largest role in funding flood control measures, claiming flood control is a local and federal funding issue. Access to state money could help local governments match federal grant dollars, which is often required for their allocation. The Flood Infrastructure Fund would facilitate loans to local municipalities to meet federal matching requirements. 

Polls in Texas don’t close until 7 p.m., so there is still plenty of time to get out and vote. By tomorrow morning, Houston may have a new mayor and Texas could have several new laws. Find your ballot and polling site here.