Tuesday was election day, and Texans across the State went to the polls to cast their votes on fourteen constitutional amendments, various local propositions, and a scattering of elections for office.
Let’s briefly look at the election day results and see where taxpayers stand as the dust settles.
One of the high points of the night was the TFR-endorsed candidate for the open seat in House District 2, Brent Money, taking first place in a crowded, six-person race.
Brent Money far outperformed his opponents, receiving almost 32 percent of the vote, with second-place finisher Jill Dutton receiving roughly 25 percent of the vote.
Money and Dutton will face each other in a runoff election that Governor Greg Abbott will set.
Statewide voters also approved Proposition 4, the amendment implementing the property tax relief package passed by the Legislature earlier this year during the second-called special session. While there were unfortunate claims from many politicians that this was the largest property new tax relief ever at $18 billion, that claim turned out to be false. The largest new relief was in 2008 at roughly $14 billion. Proposition 4 only provided $12.7 billion, as is detailed in the legislation’s fiscal note, making it the second largest in history, missing expectations and falling far short of promises.
Proposition 4 should provide some temporary relief for some taxpayers, but many will see their relief evaporate over the next couple of years as local budgets and appraisals continue to rise.
Also, one of the constitutional amendment propositions that was opposed by TFR, Proposition 13, which would have raised the mandatory retirement age for Judges and Justices in Texas, was shot down by Texas voters, with nearly 63 percent voting against the measure.
The bad news for taxpayers is that many propositions that will either raise taxes or will misuse billions of dollars of taxpayer money thereby, continuing to grow government, were passed as well.
Propositions 2 and 10, passed yesterday. Both will provide property tax exemptions to certain types of businesses and will raise the property burden on homeowners and other businesses that don’t receive such exemptions.
Billions of dollars in new spending, such as $1.5 billion in corporate welfare for broadband companies and $1 billion for state parks, were also passed; money that could have and should have been used for property tax relief.
An ugly and often overlooked issue that garnered far less attention than the constitutional amendments and some local races, were the billions of dollars worth of local government and ISD bonds that were passed around the state.
These bonds range from bonds for park improvements to new athletic facilities for schools.
These Bonds, a type of debt that must be paid off with property taxes, will inevitably raise the property tax burden on Texans, adding to the crushing tax burden of homeowners and small businesses alike.
Overall, despite a few wins at the ballot box, it was not a very good night for Texas taxpayers, most of whom will continue to suffer under the ever-growing and ever-burdensome might of taxes and government.
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