You Have 7 Decisions to Make on the Fall Ballot

Seven amendments to the Texas Constitution will be on ballots statewide this fall.

Only voters, not legislators, can approve such changes.

The election is Nov. 7.

Alexandra Samuels of the Texas Tribune notes that one proposed amendment would widen the ability of homeowners to tap into the equity in their homes.

Samuels also tells NewsRadio 740 KTRH of a proposal easing the tax burden on the survivors of fallen police and firefighters.

Still another, she said, widens opportunities for sports fundraising.

Here’s a plain-English breakdown shared by Samuels from the Texas Tribune website:

Disabled vets’ tax break (based on House Joint Resolution 21).  “It would authorize property tax exemptions for certain partially disabled veterans or their surviving spouses — those whose homes were donated to them by charity for less than market value.”

Bank prizes (based on House Joint Resolution 37): “It would allow banks and other financial institutions to conduct promotional activities — such as raffles — to encourage savings.”

Sports raffles (based on House Joint Resolution 100): “It would expand the definition of a ‘professional sports team,’ giving more team-connected foundations the ability to hold charitable raffles.

Widows/widowers of fallen officers (based on Senate Joint Resolution 1): “This would give property tax exemptions to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.”

Constitutional challenges (based on Senate Joint Resolution 6): “This would require courts to notify the state attorney general of any constitutional challenges to state laws.

Expired appointments (based on Senate Joint Resolution 34): “Unsalaried appointees (those appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate) whose terms have ended but who have not been replaced would serve only until the next legislative session has ended.”

Tapping into home equity (based on Senate Joint Resolution 60): It would set a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan – meaning that “this would ease restrictions on borrowing against home equity in Texas.

Samuels’ complete report can be found here: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/06/hey-texplainer-what-constitutional-amendments-will-be-november-ballot/

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