‘No’ on Prop 2 campaign urges voters to reject property tax increases
Amendment will guarantee rising property taxes
By Terri Hall
October 7, 2021
Texas voters beware! Proposition 2 contains misleading ballot wording to hide the fact that this proposition uses local property tax increases to pay for transportation projects that should be funded by the state using your existing taxes. Prop 2 is the result of House Joint Resolution 99 (authored by Rep. Terry Canales, D - Edinburg) to give counties the ability to issue new road debt using an unpopular method backed by property tax increases called Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZs).
Lawmakers already tried to pass this in 2011 (then known as Prop 4), but voters rejected it. Now they think they can get it past voters this November by removing the phrase ‘ad valorem tax increases,’ and include ‘transportation’ (since ballot initiatives for transportation tend to pass with over 80% of the vote). In fact, Prop 2 would authorize counties to divert up to 65% of your property tax increases to projects the state should be funding with your existing road taxes.
Even more concerning is the broad language used for the land to do it. It changes the constitution to give counties authority to issue bonds to finance ‘undeveloped, underdeveloped, or blighted areas.’ That could mean virtually
anything. One man’s blight is another man’s treasure. The word ‘transportation’ wasn’t even included the original bill.
In 2011 the ballot said: “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.”
However, Prop 2 now says this in 2021: “The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”
Be forewarned, this bill involves increases to your property taxes to pay off long-term debt for decades for transportation projects (or anything they can call ‘infrastructure’). It also virtually guarantees your property taxes won’t go down.
Since voters do not get the chance to vote for or against any future TRZ established by a county (should Prop 2 pass in November), voting against Prop 2 is voters’ only chance to say ‘no’ to more property tax increases, blank checks for property rights abuses, and deceptive ballot language.
Terri Hall is Founder & Director of TexasTURF.org and TollfreeHighways.com. Both groups advocate for property rights and pro-taxpayer transportation solutions.
TURF, Grassroots America - We the People, and True Texas Project also sent this letter to the Secretary of State requesting a change in the ballot language or the groups would file a lawsuit to contest the election.
‘No’ on Prop 2 campaign flyer.