Texas Constitutional Amendment Election
November 7, 2023
Early Voting Begins October 23, 2023
Early Voting Ends November 3, 2023
Election Day November 7, 2023
During the 2023 Regular Session and 2nd Called Session, the 88th Texas Legislature passed a total of 14 joint resolutions proposing amendments to the state constitution, and these proposed amendments will be offered for approval by the voters of Texas on the November 7, 2023 election ballot.
Proposition 1 – HJR 126
“The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.”
Should the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management be protected by law?
The proposed constitutional amendment creates a new right for people to engage in generally accepted farm, ranch, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management practices on land they own or lease. The proposed amendment does not affect the legislature’s authority to authorize state or local regulation of those agricultural practices when necessary to protect health and safety, animal health and crop production, or natural resources, or to use the power of eminent domain.
Proposition 2 – SJR 64
“The constitutional amendment authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility.”
Should cities and counties be allowed to give property tax breaks to child-care businesses?
S.J.R. 64, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, proposes to add Section 1-r to Article VIII, Texas Constitution, to authorize the governing body of a county or municipality to exempt from ad valorem taxation all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a childcare facility. The resolution authorizes the governing body of the county or municipality to adopt the exemption as a percentage of the appraised value of the property, provided that the percentage adopted by the governing body is not less than 50 percent. The resolution further authorizes the legislature by general law to define “child-care facility” for purposes of the exemption and to prescribe eligibility requirements for the exemption.
Proposition 3 – HJR 132
“The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual wealth or net worth tax, including a tax on the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family.”
Should an individual wealth tax or net worth tax be outlawed in Texas?
H.J.R. 132 would amend the Texas Constitution to prohibit the legislature from imposing a tax on the wealth or net worth of individuals or families. The prohibition would specifically cover a tax on the amount equal to the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family.
Proposition 4 – HJR 2 (2nd Special Session)
“The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to establish a temporary limit on them maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes; to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads from $40,000 to $100,000; to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts; to except certain appropriations to pay for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations; and to authorize the legislature to provide for a four-year term of office for a member of the board of directors of certain appraisal districts.”
Should the homestead exemption from school property taxes be increased from $40,000 to $100,000?
H.J.R. 2, 88th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 2023, proposes several amendments to the Texas Constitution relating to ad valorem taxes and the administration of the ad valorem tax system. S.B. 2, 88th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 2023, the Property Tax Relief Act, is the enabling legislation for the proposed amendments.
1. The proposed constitutional amendment authorizes the legislature to establish a temporary limit on the maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead in a tax year of the lesser of the market value of the property or 120 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year. If the proposed amendment is approved by the voters, S.B. 2 implements this appraisal limit so that the appraised value of real property does not increase by more than 20 percent a year for the next three years.
2. The proposed amendment increases the portion of the market value of a residence homestead that is exempt from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $40,000 to $100,000.
3. The proposed amendment provides for a reduction of the limitation, or “tax freeze,” on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for public school purposes on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person to reflect increases in the amount of school district residence homestead exemptions, including the increase to $100,000 described above and any future increases.
4. The proposed amendment excepts appropriations of state tax revenue for purposes of paying for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limit on the rate of growth of appropriations. This change has the effect of exempting state payments to reduce school district taxes from the general state spending cap on appropriations and applies to the amounts appropriated by the 88th Legislature to decrease school tax rates as directed by S.B. 2. 5. Finally, the proposed amendment authorizes the legislature to provide for four-year terms for members of the governing body of an appraisal district established for a county with a population of 75,000 or more. S.B. 2, which provides for a combination of elected and appointed appraisal district board members in counties with a population of 75,000 or more if this amendment is approved, increases the terms of board members in those populous counties to four years.
Proposition 5 – HJR 3
“The constitutional amendment relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy.”
Should a $3 billion fund be created to allow state schools that are not eligible for research funding from the Permanent University Fund to potentially become eligible for research funding from the Texas University Fund?
H.J.R. 3, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution to rename the national research university fund, which is used to support emerging research universities in Texas, as the Texas University Fund. The amendment would exclude state universities that are supported by the Permanent University Fund (PUF) from eligibility to receive money from the Texas University Fund, and exempt money in the fund and state tax revenues appropriated to the fund from the constitutional state spending cap, which generally limits the rate of growth of appropriations. The proposed amendment further provides for a dedicated source of revenue for the Texas University Fund from the interest income, dividends, and investment earnings attributable to the state’s economic stabilization fund (“rainy day fund”), not to exceed $100 million per state fiscal year, as adjusted for inflation up to two percent per state fiscal year after the 2024 state fiscal year.
Proposition 6 – SJR 75
“The constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state.”
Should a Texas Water Fund be created, with $1 billion initial funding from a supplemental appropriation bill passed in May, to assist in financing water projects, especially updated pipes?
S.J.R. 75 proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution to create the Texas water fund as a special fund in the state treasury outside the general revenue fund to be administered by the Texas Water Development Board or that board’s successor in function. The resolution authorizes the administrator of the fund to use the fund only to transfer money to other funds or accounts administered by the board or its successor in function. The resolution
also provides that money transferred from the fund to another fund or account may be spent as provided by general law, or may be restored to the Texas water fund without further appropriation. The resolution provides that not less than 25 percent of the initial appropriation to the fund must be used for transfer to the New Water Supply for Texas Fund. The resolution authorizes the expenses of managing the investments of the Texas water fund to be paid from that fund. Finally, the resolution provides that an appropriation of state tax revenues for the purpose of depositing money to the credit of the fund does not count against the constitutional limit on the rate of growth of appropriations, which has the effect of excluding the appropriation from the state spending limit.
Proposition 7 – SJR 93
“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.”
Should the state establish an energy fund to finance creation of or upgrades to new electric generation facilities?
S.J.R. 93, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, proposes the addition of Section 49-q to Article III, Texas Constitution, to provide for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities. If this amendment is approved by the voters, the legislature has provided initial funding of $5 billion and enacted enabling legislation to begin providing loans and grants from the fund.
Proposition 8 – HJR 125
“The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.”
Should the state create a broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed internet access to more areas of the state?
H.J.R. 125 proposes the addition of Section 49-d-16, Article III, Texas Constitution, to create the broadband infrastructure fund for the expansion of access to and adoption of broadband and telecommunications services. The proposed amendment takes effect January 1, 2024, and expires on September 1, 2035, unless extended for 10 years by a concurrent resolution approved by a record vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature. The legislature has appropriated $1.5 billion to the proposed fund contingent on voter approval of the proposed amendment.
Proposition 9 – HJR 2
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.”
Should the state use $3.3 billion from general revenue to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to retired teachers and other school district retirees?
H.J.R. 2, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, proposes a temporary amendment to the Texas Constitution that authorizes the current 88th Legislature to (1) provide by general law a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and (2) appropriate state money to pay for the adjustment. The legislature has appropriated $3.355 billion to fund the cost-of-living adjustment contingent on voter approval of the proposed amendment.
Proposition 10 – SJR 87
“The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation equipment or inventory held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products to protect the Texas healthcare network and strengthen our medical supply chain.”
Should biomedical firms receive property tax breaks on the value of equipment and inventory, similar to certain other industries approved by voters, in order to strengthen our medical supply chain?
The constitutional amendment proposed by S.J.R. 87 amends the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation the tangible personal property held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products as a finished good or used in the manufacturing or processing of medical or biomedical products.
Proposition 11 – SJR 32
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.”
Should conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County have the power to issue bonds for parks and recreational facilities, similar to eleven other Texas counties?
The constitutional amendment proposed by S.J.R. 32, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, would amend Section 59(c-1), Article XVI, Texas Constitution, to add El Paso County to the list of counties in Section 59(c-1) in which the legislature may authorize conservation and reclamation districts (special districts such as water control and improvement districts, municipal management districts, and special utility districts) to develop and finance parks and other purely recreational facilities with taxes. The amendment, without limiting any power to finance
parks and recreational facilities in El Paso County that currently exists, provides for the issuance of bonds financed by taxes in districts located wholly or partly in El Paso County
Proposition 12 – HJR 134
“The constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County.”
Should the office of county treasurer in Galveston County be abolished?
The constitutional amendment proposing to add Section 44(d), Article XVI, Texas Constitution, if approved by the voters, would abolish the office of county treasurer in Galveston County and authorize the commissioners court of that county to employ or contract with a qualified person, or designate a county officer, to perform any of the functions that would have been performed by the county treasurer if the office had not been abolished. The amendment also provides that the amendment takes effect only if, in addition to approval by voters across the state, a majority of the voters in Galveston County voting on the question also approve the amendment. The current county treasurer campaigned on the promise to abolish the office, as he believes it is redundant and unnecessary.
Proposition 13 – HJR 107
“The constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.”
Should the mandatory retirement age of state judges increase from 75 to 79 years of age?
The proposed amendment amends Section 1-a(1), Article V, Texas Constitution, to increase the mandatory age of retirement of state justices and judges from 75 to 79 years unless the legislature sets a lower mandatory retirement age. The proposed amendment also increases the lowest age the legislature may prescribe from 70 to 75 years of age.
Proposition 14 – SJR 74
“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks.”
Should a centennial parks conservation fund be created, allowing Texas to create new state parks and improve existing state parks?
S.J.R. 74, 88th Legislature, Regular Session, 2023, proposes the addition of Section 49-e-1, Article III, Texas Constitution, to provide for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks.