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October 31, 2007

Recommendations On Ballot Propositions

We have an election coming up next week, related to ballot propositions on the state, county, and local levels.

Looking them over, I’d like to offer the following positions for your consideration.

STATE OF TEXAS

Amendment 1

Clarifies in law the legislature’s transfer of Angelo State University from Texas State University System to Texas Tech University System.

Yes – a technical correction

Amendment 2

Issues $500 million general obligation bonds for student loans

Yes – reluctantly. We need to restore tuition caps

Amendment 3

Limits the ad valorem tax on a homestead to the most recent market value or a 10 percent increase from the value of last year’s appraisal.

Yes – while it fails to go far enough in capping property taxes, that is no reason for not taking the incremental step.

Amendment 4

Authorizes up to $1 billion in bonds from the state general revenues for maintenance, repair and construction projects

Yes – too many projects have been delayed too long, and must be completed in the short term. The Battleship Texas project and the law enforcement provisions alone are reason enough to pass.

Amendment 5

Allows cities under 10,000 to vote to authorize the city to enter agreements encouraging revitalization programs by deferring ad valorem taxes

Yes

Amendment 6

Exempts ad valorem tax on one vehicle used for both professional and personal use

Yes

Amendment 7

Allows the government to sell property acquired through eminent domain back to the previous owner at the price paid by the government in acquiring the land

Yes – though it should be mandatory in those cases in which projects are cancelled.

Amendment 8

Clarifies and alters procedures related to making and using home equity loans

Yes – but this proves that there are things in the Texas Constitution that don’t need to be there

Amendment 9

Allows legislature to exempt totally disabled veteran’s homesteads from ad valorem taxes and changes the method for determining the amount of a disabled veteran’s exemption

Yes

Amendment 10

Eliminates the authority for the office of inspector of hides and animals

Yes – since the office is no longer in existence

Amendment 11

Requires a record vote on any final passage of a piece of legislation except local bills, and assures Internet access to those votes

Yes – a good government bill, though the local bills should not be exempt

Amendment 12

Authorizes Texas Transportation Commission to issue $5 billion in bonds for highway improvement projects

No – let’s rein-in the Trans Texas Corridor

Amendment 13

Authorizes the denial of bail to a person who violates certain court orders in misdemeanor family violence cases.

Yes

Amendment 14

Permits judges reaching mandatory retirement age to finish their terms

Yes – though we ought to be eliminating the retirement age completely

Amendment 15

Establishes the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorizes state to issue up to $3 billion in bonds from the general revenue for research

No Recommendation – I’m still struggling with this one

Amendment 16

Allows Texas Water Development Board to issue up to $250 million in additional bonds for clean water in economically distressed areas

Yes

HARRIS COUNTY

Proposition 1

The issuance of $190,000,000 Harris County road bonds and the levying of the tax in payment thereof.

Yes

Proposition 2

The issuance of $95,000,000 Harris County park bonds and the levying of the tax in payment thereof.

No

Proposition 3

The issuance of $195,000,000 Harris County bonds for a central processing and adult detention center and the levying of the tax in payment thereof.

Yes

Proposition 4

The issuance of $80,000,000 harris county bonds for a medical examiner's forensic center and the levying of the tax in payment thereof

Yes

Proposition 5

The issuance of $70,000,000 Harris County bonds for a family law center and the levying of the tax in payment thereof.

Yes

PORT OF HOUSTON AUTHORITY

Proposition

The issuance of $250,000,000 Port of Houston Authority bonds for port improvements (including related transportation facilities, security facilities and environmental enhancements) to provide economic development and the levying of the tax in payment thereof.

No -- and may I add HELL NO! Privatize the Port.

CITY OF SEABROOK

Proposition

In accordance with Texas law and Section 5.21 of the Charter of the City of Seabrook, Texas, shall the City Council of the City of Seabrook, Texas be authorized to issue bonds of the City in the amount of $2,500,000 maturing serially or otherwise at such times as may be fixed by the City Council not to exceed 40 years from their date or dates and bearing interest at any rate or rates, either fixed, variable or floating, according to any clearly stated formula, calculation or method not exceeding the maximum interest now or hereafter authorized by law as shall be determined within the discretion of the City Council at the time of issuance, and to levy a tax upon all taxable property in the City sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds, and to provide a sinking fund for the payment of the bonds as they mature, for the purpose of making permanent public park improvements as follows: the Pine Gully Enhancement Project located at 502 Pine Gully, Seabrook, Texas, including acquisition of approximately 8.433 acres of property immediately north of Pine Gully Park, construction and improvement of such property, all as more specifically described in Resolution 2007-14, and all matters necessary or incidental thereto.

Yes





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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
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LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
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