Texas Voters Approve 9 of 10 Amendments to the State Constitution, Including Income Tax Ban

click to enlarge Bexar Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen displays a paper ballot produced by the county's new voting machines. - RHYMA CASTILLO
Rhyma Castillo
Bexar Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen displays a paper ballot produced by the county's new voting machines.
Texas voters on Tuesday approved a controversial measure making it significantly harder for the state to pass an income tax. They also green lit eight other amendments to the Texas Constitution.

The approved amendments would create a flood infrastructure fund, provide tax relief for people in disaster areas and ensure taxes on sporting goods fund protection of natural areas. The only proposal shot down by voters was one that would allow people to hold more than one office at the same time as a municipal judge.

The income tax ban is a victory for Republicans who lobbied hard for its passage. Democrats and progressive groups voiced strong opposition, pointing out that the amendment limits the state to a pair of regressive fundraising mechanisms — sales and property taxes — felt most heavily by low-income residents.

"Prop 4 is more smoke and mirrors than it is policy," said Sam Robles, advocacy director at Progress Texas. "Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, but removing the prospect of ever having one in the future means the state will continue to rely heavily on property tax revenue."

What follows are the results of the statewide propositions, courtesy of the Texas Secretary of State's website:

Proposition 1: Amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at one time.
For: 615,774 (35.06%)
Against: 1,140,466 (64.94%)

Proposition 2: Provides for issuing additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
For: 1,135,825 (65.05%)
Against: 610,170 (34.95%)

Proposition 3: Authorizes the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.
For: 1,483,378 (84.93%)
Against: 263,302 (15.07%)

Proposition 4: Prohibits the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual's share of partnership and unincorporated association income.
For: 1,318,373 (74.96%)
Against: 440,341 (25.04%)

Proposition 5: Dedicates revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas' natural areas.

For: 1,545,482 (88.01%)
Against: 210,615 (11.99%)

Proposition 6: Authorizes the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
For: 1,104,303 (63.39%)
Against: 637,735 (36.61%)

Proposition 7: Allows increased distributions to the available school fund.
For: 1,282,818 (73.55%)
Against: 461,314 (26.45%)

Proposition 8: Provides for the creation of a flood infrastructure fund to assist in financing drainage, flood mitigation and flood control projects.
For: 1,343,689 (76.84%)
Against: 404,973 (23.16%)

Proposition 9: Authorizes the Texas Legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in the state.
For: 874,369 (51.71%)
Against: 816,511 (48.29%)

Proposition 10: Allows the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.
For: 1,650,834 (94.04%)
Against: 104,717 (5.96%)

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