Hopeful Constitutional Amendment Outcome
According to the Texas Secretary of State's website, Proposition 4 on the constitutional amendment ballot yesterday, failed.
Here's the explanatory statement for Propostion 4 from VoteTexas.org:
Proposition Number 4 (HJR 63)
HJR 63 would amend the constitution to authorize the legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the county, and to pledge increases in ad valorem tax revenues imposed on property in the area by the county for repayment of such bonds or notes. The amendment does not provide independent authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.
The proposed amendment would appear on the ballot as follows: "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area and to pledge for repayment of the bonds or notes increases in ad valorem taxes imposed by the county on property in the area. The amendment does not provide authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates."
Basically, the legislature was trying to give Counties the ability to be a TIRZ creator (which Cities currently enjoy) and borrow a whole bunch of money to try and redevelop an area and then confiscate the increase in ad valorem taxes from all the other taxing entities to pay for the County Government's investment.
Just imagine Midland County being able to do what the City of Midland did to create the downtown TIRZ (*shudder*). You know that entitity that sucks up all the increase in ad valorem taxes in downtown from every entity but the school board. Yeah, the one that causes many of our elected officials to wrongly state with great frequency that downtown development is reducing our homestead property tax burden beacuse of all that new value. It isn't. It is going into a downtown development slush fund with a pretty vague purpose right now.
I hope this means the public is starting to reject the idea that government of any type should be involved in financing, directing or otherwise participating in the real estate and development market.
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