Capitol Office: (512) 463-0564
District Office: (979) 848-1770
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bonnen Reminds Citizens to Vote in Upcoming Election

Insider's Report Vol. 7, No. 30

Clarifies misconceptions on Propositions 2 and 3

Texans will soon have the opportunity to vote on eleven proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.  I encourage you to exercise your right to vote during the upcoming Constitutional Amendment Election on November 3.  You can also cast your vote during the early voting period from October 19-30.

The proposed constitutional amendments that you will find on your ballot affect all Texans, particularly with respect to property taxes, higher education, open beaches, veterans affairs, and property rights.  As such, I strongly encourage you to closely consider the arguments "for" and "against" each proposition before visiting the polls.  I have attached a constitutional amendment election summary compiled by a nonpartisan research group to assist you in forming your opinion.  If you are unable to open the attachment, you can also visit the following link to access the report:http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/focus/amend81.pdf

I appreciate the number of concerned constituents who have contacted my office to seek clarification regarding an email making the rounds which claims that the State of Texas will begin assessing taxes on homeowners if Propositions 2 and 3 are passed by voters.  This claim is false.  I can assure you that these proposed amendments would not authorize a state property tax in addition to your local property taxes.

Proposition 2 would simply prohibit the "highest and best use" method from being available to appraisal districts in valuing someone's residential homestead.  It is aimed at addressing situations where commercial development drives up neighboring land values, which can result in huge property tax increases for nearby homeowners.  This constitutional amendment will ensure that Texas homesteads are appraised only on the basis of their value as a residence instead of their "highest and best use."

Proposition 3 would make sure appraisal methods are consistent throughout the state.  Currently, appraisal methods differ in each appraisal district and there are no uniform standards or oversight.  This proposition will provide for the equitable treatment of all property owners by ensuring that taxable property is appraised in the same manner no matter where it is located in the state.

Regardless of the direction you choose to cast your votes in the constitutional amendment election, it is crucial that your consideration be based on facts rather than falsehoods.  This is where my office can be of assistance to you.  My staff and I stand ready to provide you with the factual information you need to weigh all sides of every issue that will come before you on the November ballot.  Additionally, the attached summary provides a thorough and balanced examination of the Legislature's intent with respect to each of the eleven amendments, and I urge you to review it carefully before visiting the polls.

For more information regarding poll locations, please visit the Brazoria County Clerk's Elections website at: http://www.brazoria.tx.us.landata.com/Elections.asp