Texas voters approve seven statewide measures in election

Voters across Texas passed seven statewide constitutional amendments yesterday, ranging from changes to the homestead exemption to the wording of state hunting and fishing rights.

The election saw relatively low voter turnout in Tarrant county, with only three precincts seeing a turnout of 20 to 30 percent, according to the Tarrant County elections website. Overall voter turnout for the county was just under 10 percent. In Tarrant county, 9.4 percent of registered voters made it to the polls compared to 11.3 percent statewide.

Below is a description of each proposition that was on this year’s ballot.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.08 AMProp 1 – Proposition one increased the amount of the homestead exemption for public schools from $15,000 to $25,000. The proposition is estimated to save homeowners between $120 and $130 per year on their taxes. The Texas Tribune created an interactive tool here to calculate how much you may save based on your zip code.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.17 AMProp 2 – Proposition two extended the 100 percent property tax exemption for spouses of totally disabled veterans who have died. Previously the exemption only applied to veterans who had died after 2010, but this proposition means the exemptions now apply to those who died before 2010. However, the exemptions only apply if the spouse has not remarried.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.25 AMProp 3- Proposition three pertains to the requirements placed on state officials. It repeals the requirements that certain executive officials reside in the state capital, Austin, while in office.  This means that the land and agriculture commissioners, comptroller, attorney general and members of the Railroad Commission will be able to live somewhere other than Austin.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.31 AMProp 4- Proposition four falls under the category of sports and gambling. It allows the affiliated charitable foundations of professional sports teams to conduct raffles as fundraisers. Texas sports teams can now hold raffles at all home games, which is good news for the proposition’s biggest supporter, the Dallas Cowboys.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.42 AMProp 5 –  Proposition five is the Texas Population Requirement for Private Road Work Amendment. It authorized counties with 7,500 people or less to perform private road construction and maintenance. Previously, only counties with populations of 5,000 people or less were allowed to do so.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.49 AMProp 6 –  Proposition six added text to the state constitution regarding the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife. The amendment created a section 34 to article 1 of the Texas Constitution. The new section reads: “The people have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, subject to laws or regulations to conserve and manage wildlife and preserve the future of hunting and fishing.” You can read the rest of the amendment here.

Prop 7 – Proposition seven supplied funding to the State Highway Fund from the state sales tax and motor vehicle sales and rental taxScreen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.44.56 AM. The proposition did not create new revenue but diverted existing revenue to the State Highway Fund. The funds collected will be used to build and maintain “nontolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.”