By Rep. Trent Ashby
Representing District 9
With September just around the corner, the school year is in full swing, football stadiums will light up the Friday night sky, and hunters across the state are chomping at the bit to get back into the field. As I’m sure many of you are aware, this year’s dove season starts on September 1 and will run until the end of October just in time for the duck and deer season. That being said, here’s a friendly reminder to all of my fellow sportsmen and women to purchase a hunting license if you haven’t already done so. You can pick one up at your local gun shop or sporting goods store as you’re loading up for the season, or even purchase one online through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Outdoor Annual App or on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s website www.tpwd.texas.gov.
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
In my previous column, I provided an overview of Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, which are the first two of the 14 ballot propositions that voters will consider in the upcoming November election. This week’s column will feature an overview of the next two propositions – Proposition 2 and Proposition 3.
Proposition 3 amends the Constitution to ensure the legislature cannot impose a wealth, or income, tax on individuals or families. Though the State of Texas already prides itself on not imposing an income tax, Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, authorizes the tax of both tangible and intangible property in unique cases. As a state that celebrates competition, even the possibility of a direct tax on an individual’s assets or property would serve as a disincentive to financial success. Proposition 3 helps ensure that the State of Texas and her people will continue to serve as a global beacon for economic growth and prosperity for future generations.
Proposition 4 offers an amendment that is long overdue to you and your family. It is the enabling legislation that will provide property owners with the largest property tax cut in our state’s history. In this proposition, a 20% cap or limit is imposed on non-homestead properties valued under $5 million for the next three years. In addition, the existing homestead exemption ceiling of $40,000 will be increased to $100,000. And, a “tax freeze” will be placed on the total amount of ad valorem tax that may be imposed on an elderly or disabled individual. Finally, the proposed amendment authorizes the legislature to require four-year terms for members of appraisal district boards in counties over 75,000 in population. Under current law, appraisal boards are composed of 9 appointed, voting members. Under the proposed legislation, appraisal district boards will now be composed of eight voting members – 5 appointed and 3 elected. This allows citizens to take comfort in knowing they have a voice in electing members responsible for issuing property tax values for their county. It is our goal to ensure all Texans feel a much-deserved sense of relief from skyrocketing property taxes. The Legislature has made a deliberate effort to ensure components of this bill allow Texans to see a noticeable decline in their taxes in 2024, as well as implement new accountability measures to help alleviate some of the tax burden on property owners across the state.
The mobile office is on the road again and our district director will look forward to seeing you on the following date, in the following locations: September 6 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9-11 a.m., September 13 at the Polk County Commissioners Courtroom in Livingston from 9-11 a.m., or the Tyler County Commissioners Courtroom in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 p.m., September 20 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9-11 a.m. or the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at 936-634-2762 and our Capitol office at 512-463-0508. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my official Facebook page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.