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Jim Forsythe

Tax on Individuals Amendment (2019)

Texas Proposition 4, the Prohibit State Income Tax on Individuals Amendment, is on the ballot in Texas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 5, 2019.

A "yes" vote supports this amendment to prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals.

A "no" vote opposes this amendment, thus continuing to allow the state to enact a tax on individuals in the future through a statewide referendum.

Proposition 4 would replace the referendum requirement with a ban on enacting an income tax on individuals. Removing the ban in the future would require a constitutional amendment, which needs a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber and voter approval.

Alan Waters

Jim: You are right on target. This amendment is written opposite than what people would think. It needs to be read very closely. A no vote means you are in favor of a state income tax, not that you are against it. It will be very easy for people to vote the opposite of what they wish, by accident, if they are in a hurry.

Jack Cross

Jim am Alan, here is my take on this amendment: it is nonsense, the state constitution already prohibits a state property tax, this just ties the hands for future legislators, as Jim points out by requiring a super majority.

What the state is not addressing is the fact that we do have a state property tax. The state decides the amount of funding per student, the state puts a cap on the tax rate set by the school board for maintenance and operations. This means that when appraisals increase plus new construction is added to the property value pot of money, this money is off limits to the school board so that they could lower the tax rate. The state takes this pot of local property value taxes and put it in the state budget to use on programs other than education. ( that is a state property that) and it is legal. So when legislators say they are going to lower your property tax, all they have to do is leave the $3.7 billion dollars they harvested this legislative session for your property appraisal increases. Another note; the state comptroller is te governing agency over CADS, not the elected board of directors. The state peoperty tax division forces CADs to appraise at 100 percent of market value. This is state law but as you can see ,it is the state, not taxpayers who benefit from high appraisals. In a twisted way, it is like the fox guarding the chicken pen.

Jose' Boix

Is this basically and ultimately, the result of the vote on Proposition 4? "The vote will not determine whether Texas has a state income tax." My recollection is that Texas has never had a state income tax, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. I read that "In 1993, Texas amended Article VIII of the constitution to ensure that the legislature couldn’t impose an income tax without a referendum of the people. Now Texas looks to amend Article VIII again." However, this time a "YES" vote will make certain the potential referendum of the people never happens. A "NO" vote will still require a public vote/referendum regarding a State Tax.

This is another example to get some energy for our legislators to revamp the Texas Constitution into a "policy" rather than "procedure" manual.

Bailey Jones

I remember when I was in school - middle school or high school, I forget, and some people were proposing a new state constitution that would allow Texas to be governed by law rather than amendment. As I recall, it did not fare well.

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