Voters approve 9 of 10 proposed constitutional amendments

 

AUSTIN — Voters rejected only one of 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution in the statewide election held Nov. 5.

The House and Senate, in the 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature that ended in May, approved the propositions for voters to decide. Results are as follows:

Prop. 1, permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at a time, failed with 681,139 “yes” votes — or 34.56 percent of votes cast — to 1,970,765 “no” votes or 65.44 percent.

Prop. 2, providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas, passed with 1,285,397 votes or 65.62 percent of votes cast, to 673,306 votes or 34.38 percent.

Prop. 3, authorizing the Legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by disaster, passed with 1,667,110 votes or 85.09 percent of votes cast to 292,031 votes or 14.91 percent.

Prop. 4, making it more difficult for the state to impose an individual income tax by requiring a two-thirds majority vote of the House and Senate before putting the matter on a ballot for voters to approve or disapprove, passed with 1,467,994 votes or 74.41 percent of votes cast to 504,848 votes or 25.59 percent.

Prop. 5, dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas natural areas, water quality and history by acquiring, managing and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes, passed with 1,732,331 votes or 88 percent of votes cast to 236,251 votes or 12 percent.

Prop. 6, authorizing the Legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, passed with 1,250,089 votes or 64 percent of votes cast to 703,157 votes or 36 percent.

Prop. 7, allowing increased distributions to the Available School Fund, passed with 1,449,333 votes or 74.12 percent of votes cast to 506,142 votes or 25.88 percent.

Prop. 8, providing for the creation of the Flood Infrastructure Fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation and flood control projects, passed with 1,527,394 votes or 77.83 percent of votes cast to 435,184 votes or 22.17 percent.

Prop. 9, authorizing the Legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state, passed with 977,272 votes or 51.6 percent of votes cast to 916,513 votes or 48.4 percent.

Prop. 10, to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances, passed with 1,845,766 votes or 93.75 percent of votes cast to 123,032 votes or 6.25 percent.

Cash report is released

The State of Texas finished the 2019 fiscal year with unspent revenue, according to a new report.

Texas Comptroller Glen Hegar on Nov. 4 announced the publication of the State of Texas Annual Cash Report, a 458-page document, for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31.

The report, summarized in a cover letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, presents the state’s financial condition and details revenues and expenditures on a cash basis as required by state law.

The Consolidated General Revenue Fund ended the year with a cash balance in the state treasury of $8.4 billion, an increase of $3.9 billion, or 88.1 percent, from fiscal 2018. The change in the balance, Hegar said, is largely due to an increase in tax collections.

Hegar estimates revenue

Comptroller Hegar on Nov. 4 reported state sales tax revenue totaled $2.82 billion in October, 7 percent more than in October 2018.

Total sales tax revenue for the three months ending in October 2019 was up 4.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales tax is the largest source of state funding for the state budget, accounting for 57 percent of all tax collections.

Revenue is distributed

Comptroller Hegar on Nov. 6 announced he would send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $849.6 million in local sales tax allocations for the month of November.

The amount is 4 percent more than the amount distributed in November 2018.

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