On Wednesday evening October 7, 2015, the Collin County Libertarian Party met at Scotty P Hamburgers in Allen to discuss the proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution which are on the ballot this November.The Party chose to make no recommendations on any of the amendments as libertarian arguments can made for each position. As with most proposed amendments they are quite milquetoast in their substance.Below is a summary of the each amendment and brief arguments for and against each amendment. We hope it helps you in your decision making.
Proposed Amendments to the Texas Constitution – Election 2015
- Proposition 1 – Increase the school district property tax homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000. Supporting: Provide homeowners with an increased homestead exemption, lowering their property taxes. Opposing: True, but the assessed rates could increase thereby nullifying this benefit.
- Proposition 2 – Extended the survival benefits to spouses of deceased disabled veterans who died before 2009. Supporting: Provides tax relief to the families of deceased disabled veterans. Opposing: Original purpose was to provide relief to spouses only in the case of the sudden death of a veteran.
- Proposition 3 – Certain statewide officials no longer must reside in Austin. Supporting: Outdated requirement in the age of telework and transportation. Opposing: Requirement is still valid as it will likely increase the reimbursement amount that these officials can claim.
- Proposition 4 – Remove the limitation on professional sports teams to allow them to conduct raffles for charity. Supporting: Raffles will greatly increase the amount of money donated to charity. Opposing: Increases gambling and diverts money from other more worthy causes.
- Proposition 5 – Permit counties of fewer than 7,500 people to have private roads and maintenance thereof. Supporting: Give counties and private landowners more flexibility to update roads that have been poorly maintained. Opposing: The population limitation should be eliminated entirely as long as land owners agree and pay for costs.
- Proposition 6 – Establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish. Supporting: Other states have passed similar laws in an attempt to short circuit animal rights groups. Opposing: It is unnecessary because there is no immediate threat, indeed the language may be cause for concern.
- Proposition 7 – A portion of sales tax revenue will be dedicated to the state highway fund, but cannot be used for toll roads. Supporting: Provide a steady consistent funding source for transportation projects. Opposing: Will strain finances and tie the hands of future legislatures for cutting spending on roads.