'No on Prop 2' campaign warns voters to beware of property tax increases
Deceptive ballot language removed 'ad valorem tax increases' from ballot
(October 25, 2021 — San Antonio, Texas) Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and Texans for Toll-free Highways PAC, issued a warning to voters that the constitutional amendment known as Proposition 2 on the ballot November 2 (with early voting already underway) guarantees property tax increases to pay for Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZs), if voters approve the measure.
"Voters beware! Your already sky high property tax bills will go up even more if voters give counties the authority to create TRZs, which are backed by property tax increases," warns Terri Hall, Founder/Director or Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) and Texans for Toll-free Highways, PAC. "Prop 2 guarantees more property tax increases are coming."
If this measure looks familiar, that's because it is. It appeared on the ballot as Prop 4 in 2011 and voters rejected it. Since then, Texas state legislators removed the phrase 'ad valorem tax increases' from the ballot language in order to trick voters into passing it this time, hoping they'd be unaware of the tax impact of it passing.
"When lawmakers brazenly deceive voters and hide the fact they're going to increase your property taxes without any further vote of the people, every Texas voter should soundly reject Prop 2 to send the message that we expect ballot transparency and truth in taxation, not dirty tricks," urged Hall.
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 like state gasoline tax, vehicles sales taxes, and registration fees.
Even more concerning is the broad language used for the land to do it. The constitution would be changed to give counties authority to issue bonds to finance ‘undeveloped, underdeveloped, or blighted areas,’ which could mean virtually anything.
"Counties could take your small business or older home claiming the land is 'underdeveloped' and turn it into the site of a big box store so that the county can make more in taxes. One man’s blight is another man’s treasure," Hall points out.
"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."
Ballot language then and now:
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 (emphasis ours) imposed by the county on property in the area. The amendment does not provide authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.”
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.”
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: