As always, these are my notes for myself. If you don’t know how to vote, I encourage you to not vote, or to do your own research before voting.
2017 Texas Propositions
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.
I am voting AGAINST it, but this will pass. It continues to erode the tax base . . . a little. So I care, but only a little.. It would suck to have a house donated at minimal cost and then be whacked with a huge tax bill. Then again the number of times this happens can probably be counted on one hand per year so the total loss of tax revenue is probably pretty small.
The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.
This is a bad idea for lots of people. I’ll vote FOR it. The way the lending laws are written now, it is probably preventing some people from making bad financial decisions. It is keeping some people in their homes and on their land, right now, no doubt. And it is their right to make bad decisions. Allow the people to ruin themselves financially, if they so choose.
The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.
I’m voting FOR this. This means (approximately) that an office will be unfilled, when a person’s term expires, if the office hasn’t been filled. I like that. No excessive-duration appointees if the governor “oopsy” can’t quite get them filled, and hopefully a vacant seat will be a motivation to the legislature to go ahead and get an office filled.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.
This introduces a 45-day delay in what could be a vital relief process for people who are suffering under a bad law. I don’t like it and I’ll go AGAINST it, but I think it will probably pass.
The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.
There are already raffles from sports teams, but only the bigly biggest sports teams in the State can do them. This opens it up to smaller teams. If you are against gambling, then you are AGAINST this proposition. If you want people to be able to gamble if they choose, then you should be FOR this proposition.
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.
As with Proposition 1, this will pass even though I go AGAINST it. The same reasons apply except that there are a few more of this kind of case every year than the kind in prop. 1.
The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.
If you are against gambling then you are against this proposition. If you are ambivalent on gambling then this single-industry special carve-out is not as objectionable. If you are against single-industry for-profit raffles in particular, then you should be against this.
TRAVIS COUNTY BOND ELECTION
Both of these are stupid. We are going to borrow money to build paths and stuff that is going to be worn out and require rebuilding before the bonds are paid back. Then we’ll issue bonds to pay for those repairs. I say we are going to/we will because ofc both of these are going to pass. The way to get bonds approved for in Travis County is to get them on the ballot. The only exception is when the bonds are for light rail, but that never stops the top-down bureaucratic government types from trying to get it back on the ballot.
PROPOSITION A, TRAVIS COUNTY
The issuance of $93,445,000 of Road Bonds for the purpose of the construction, maintenance and operation of macadamized, graveled or paved roads and turnpikes, or in aid thereof, including acquiring land and rights-of-way therefor, road drainage, bike lanes, sidewalks and shared use paths, and replacement and improvement of road bridges and culverts, and the levying of the tax in payment thereof
Vote AGAINST Proposition A
PROPOSITION B, TRAVIS COUNTY
The issuance of $91,495,000 of Bonds for the purposes of constructing and improving County parks and the acquisition of land and interests in land in connection therewith, including the acquisition of open space park land, and acquiring conservation easements on land for any authorized purposes, including, without limitation, to retain or protect natural, scenic, or open-space values of real property or assure its availability for agricultural, recreational, or open-space use, protect natural resources, maintain or enhance air or water quality, or conserve water quantity or quality, and the levying of the tax in payment thereof
Vote AGAINST Proposition B
CITY OF PFLUGERVILLE GENERAL ELECTION
PLACE 2, COUNCIL MEMBER, CITY
Jeff Marsh – Has been doing a decent job for the short time he’s been in office. Keep him there.
Adeline Bui – Strike one, she’s divorced from her family. Strike two, she doesn’t maintain a homestead here. Strike three, she hasn’t been on this council doing a decent job already. Sorry lady, you’ve struck out! Oh and strike four, she’s just barely registered to vote. ZERO hecks given about politics and then suddenly she wants to run for city council? Oh and she’s a 1st generation immigrant (read: hasn’t spent her life here) which means she can’t have the same feeling for this place as the locals. Sorry lady, you’re disqualified.
PLACE 4, COUNCIL MEMBER, CITY
George Lueck – I’m not super enthusiastic about him, but I’d rather have him over Rudy. I don’t much like his talk about taking federal dollars for local projects.
Rudy Metayer – I’ve voted against this guy before and I’ll do it again. There’s something wrong with him and I can’t put my finger on it but I trust my instincts more than this guy.
PLACE 6, COUNCIL MEMBER, CITY
OF PFLUGERVILLE – both of these seem like good candidates. Oddly, both belong to different black-specific community groups, and neither is black. Without a strong preference either way I think I am leaning more toward McDonald.
Jim McDonald – I like the noises he was making about not giving tax abatements and he sounds like he’s up on things in a way that I like.
Victor Johnson – recommended by Jeff Marsh, and (now this is important) this guy came to my house and was distinctly lacking in “creep” vibes. But he definitely gives an “old white guy” air.