From State Rep Dan Flynn
Many of you have taken the opportunity to participate in our state's early voting process, and many of you will head to the polls on November 5th to cast your vote for the 9 Constitutional Amendments presented on the ballot this fall. Each Proposition intends to address various matters that affect Texas or specific regions of our state. I recently shared a Constitutional Newsletter with House District 2, which you can find online by visiting my website, daflynn.com, that provides a summary and synopsis of all 9 Amendments.
Of the 9 Propositions, I felt there were 3 standout issues important to the citizens of Northeast Texas and House District 2: Proposition 3, Proposition 4, & Proposition 6. I wanted to shine further light on these three specifically because I feel their passage is of significant importance to our state, but specifically to the area we live in.
I support each of them, and the merits on which they stand, and I encourage each of you to look over the summaries I have provided below as well as the summaries provided in my newsletter and cast your vote based on factual information and with a clear understanding of the benefits each may have on House District 2 and our community.
Proposition 3: Extending the Freeport Tax Exemption
Proposition 3 makes a much-needed change to the state’s “Freeport” property tax policy by giving local taxing jurisdictions the option to extend the Freeport property tax exemption on aircraft parts for up to two years.
Texas is one of only 11 states in the country that has any type of inventory tax, forcing manufacturers to move their inventories—and sometimes their entire operations—out of Texas.
The current Freeport law is particularly challenging to Texas’s 240 aerospace and aircraft manufacturers - such as L-3 located in Greenville - who provide over 200,000 jobs and contribute nearly $49 billion annually to the state’s economy.
This tax burden places Texas aircraft parts suppliers at a competitive disadvantage with suppliers located in the other states where goods destined for out-of-state shipment are exempt from property taxation.
Although the Freeport exemption was authorized as a business incentive, the current time frame for turning around inventory is too short to meet the needs of the Texas aviation industry and has acted as a deterrent for companies to come to, or stay, in Texas.
Passing Proposition 3 will help Texas aerospace and aircraft manufacturers to maintain their competitive standing, thus keeping jobs and tax revenue here at home.
Proposition 4: The Texas Disabled Veteran Residence Tax Exemption Amendment
Proposition 4 would allow the Legislature to exempt ad valorem taxation for all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of a disabled veteran or their surviving spouse if the residence homestead was donated by a charitable organization at no cost to the veteran.
- Many Texas home builders and charitable organizations honor disabled veterans by donating homes to those facing the challenge of transitioning from military service to civilian life, and there is growing interest in encouraging home donations statewide.
- However, the blessing of a donated home can become a burden if the recipient cannot pay the resulting property taxes because disability payments are insufficient and the veteran’s service-related disability precludes earned income through gainful employment.
The proposed amendment would enable the recipient disabled veteran or surviving spouse to remain in the donated home with the ensuing freedom to pursue an education, find a suitable job, or state a business.
Proposition 6: Water for Generations
Proposition 6 would create a special water infrastructure development fund, called the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT), which will be used to finance the full implementation of the State Water Plan. For years, Texas has had a Water "plan" but no funding mechanism in place to address the undetermined cost to fix, build or repair current and future water infrastructure issues.
- The Legislature felt it was important to fund a water plan and do so in a way that was most cost effective to the taxpayers.
o After the initial one-time, $2 billion investment from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund ( “Rainy Day Fund”), SWIFT will utilize revolving loans to finance $27 billion in water conservation and infrastructure projects.
- Establishing a self-sustaining fund set up solely for the preservation and development of water infrastructure in Texas ensures that Texas maintains enough funding to specifically address any and all future water concerns.
- By utilizing funds already in the Rainy Day Fund, Proposition 6 does not raise or create new taxes on citizens or businesses.
- Ensures that Texas will be able to meet the long-range water needs of current Texans as well as the nearly 1,000 people who move to our state every day.
- If passed, the amendment will protect Texas’s economy from the impacts of severe drought, helping to attract jobs and continue to grow our economy.
- It is estimated that every one billion dollars in financial assistance provided for state water plan projects will generate $1.75 billion in sales revenues, create $888.8 million in state gross domestic product, add $43.9 million in state and local tax receipts, and create or support nearly 13,077 jobs across the state.
Proposition 6 is vital to ensuring we remain adequately prepared for whatever natural or economic disasters may threaten our great state. Proposition 6 is a sound, common sense solution to an inevitable issue we will face as a state.
The rest of the country admires Texas for its high-quality of life and pro-business atmosphere. Passage of the propositions will ensure that Texas continues to be a place where families and businesses can come to prosper. Help build a better future for the people of Northeast Texas and vote “yes” for Propositions 3, 4 and 6.