Proposition 1 on the ballot would allow the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who was killed in action to be exempt from paying local property taxes based on all or part of the total appraised value of the homestead. Supporters believe it is the right thing to do to help and thank the Texas families that have lost loved ones in service to their country. Those with reservations are concerned that local governments would lose revenue, especially in cities and towns with large numbers of military families, and might have to increase taxes for other taxpayers. We believe the burden of freedom should not be borne by the few, that the cost of freedom and its sacrifices cover all Americans. We support Proposition 1. Proposition 2 on the ballot would eliminate an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund. The proposed amendment would remove references to these defunct entities in the Constitution and state law. Supporters suggest the obsolete State Medical Education Board was ineffective in its time and, as a result, has been idle since 1988. This proposition will trim the Constitution and eliminate an agency that the Sunset Commission advised be abolished 25 years ago. Detractors believe a constitutional amendment to remove references to State Medical Education Board and Fund is unnecessary because they are defunct and no loans have been issued since 1988. We believe, if it isn't working and isn't needed, eliminate it altogether.


We support Proposition 2. Proposition 3 would provide an extension to an existing exemption, commonly referred to as a "freeport exemption," from property taxes on eligible property that is in Texas temporarily, such as various types of merchandise used in manufacturing or processing. The proposed amendment, which applies only to aircraft and aircraft parts, would allow local governments to extend the time before the property has to be transported outside of the state from 175 days up to 730 days. Those supporting Proposition 3 believe the proposed extension would provide an economic development tool intended to make Texas competitive in the aerospace industry that contributes billions to the state's economy, because most other states don't impose a tax on inventory. Granting an extension would be totally at the option of each local government already granting an exemption. Others are concerned that an additional extension for aircraft and aircraft parts would reduce local tax revenue and favor one industry over others. This would extend the tax exemption from about six months to nearly two years allowing companies to reduce costs by placing larger orders at possibly lower costs and reducing shipping charges thus being able to become more competitive. We support Proposition 3. Proposition 4 on the ballot would provide a partial homestead property tax exemption to a partially disabled veteran or surviving spouse, if the homestead has been donated by a charitable organization at no cost to the veteran. The percentage of the exemption would be equal to the percentage of disability of the veteran. Veterans who are 100 percent disabled, and their surviving spouses, are already eligible for a 100 percent exemption. Supporters suggest that it will help charitable organizations and communities that provide homes for disabled veterans an easier route to not only provide a gift, but also help ensure the veteran and family can rest without fear of losing their home. Others might be concerned that singling out one group for special tax exemption status, even though deserving, raises issues of uniformity in taxation and could open the door to continued erosion of the tax base. As in Proposition 1, the burden of sacrifice for freedom should be carried by all. We support Proposition 4.