Texas REALTORS® Positions on Nov. 2, 2021 Propositions

Texas REALTORS® is NEUTRAL on all proposed constitutional amendments on the November 2, 2021 ballot.

The association offers the analysis below as general information to provide voters more background about each proposed amendment.
For a deeper dive, visit the House Research Organization’s report.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women's Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues."

Supporters Say:

This would extend preexisting law to allow charitable auctions at sporting events to include charitable auctions held at rodeo events. Charitable raffles raise large amounts of money for worthy causes related to education, cancer research, and youth programs.

Opponents Say:

Proposition 1 is a further expansion of gambling which would open the door to more serious forms of gambling.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county."

Supporters Say:

Texas perennially underfunds transportation projects by billions of dollars each year. Proposition 2 would eliminate the discrepancy between cities and counties by clarifying counties’ ability to issue bonds or notes for the purpose of financing the development or redevelopment of certain areas and to pledge increases in property tax revenues for the repayment of those bonds or notes. This method of financing does not increase taxes but allows local governments to redirect any additional property tax revenue to certain reinvestment zones to finance improvements within the zone, including transportation projects.

Opponents Say:

This would expand taxpayer-backed debt by allowing counties to use tax increment financing, potentially raising local property taxes. Cities and towns can already use this method of financing to finance infrastructure projects in these blighted areas.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations."

Supporters Say:

As an answer to the closure of houses of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, Proposition 3 would ban local or state officials from taking action that would prohibit or limit religious services. Proposition 3 guarantees people of faith can freely exercise their religious beliefs.

Opponents Say:

These gatherings, sometimes large in nature, put Texans at risk by allowing the continued operation during a pandemic. Proposition 3 would erode local control by restricting local elected officials’ ability to issue emergency orders that limit in-person religious services during a disaster, even if the orders treated religious services the same as other gatherings.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge."

Supporters Say:

Proposition 4 would help ensure a higher quality judiciary in the state by adding to existing eligibility requirements for appellate and district court judges. Strengthening these judicial qualifications would benefit all Texans.

Opponents Say:

Proposition 4 is unnecessary because the current constitutional provisions already provide qualified judicial candidates. This qualification increase also reduces voter choice and excludes younger, more diverse lawyers from judicial appointments or races.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office."

Supporters Say:

Currently, elected judicial officers are held to high standards specified in the Code of Judicial Conduct, whereas their non-elected opponents are not. Proposition 5 would remedy this by fairly and consistently subjecting all candidates for judicial office to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s complaint and investigation process.

Opponents Say:

Proposition 5 would significantly increase the responsibilities of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct by expanding those who are subject to a complaint or investigation by the commission.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation."

Supporters Say:

As an answer to visitation restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Proposition 6 would empower residents of long-term care facilities to designate an “essential caregiver” for in-person visitation, ensuring the resident always has access to the caregiver.

Opponents Say:

Proposition 6 does not go far enough. Efforts to identify essential caregivers should allow a long-term care resident or the resident's guardian or representative to designate more than one person at a time as an essential caregiver for in-person visitation. Limiting this designation to only one person could prevent other family members and friends from seeing a loved one before they pass away.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person's death."

Supporters Say:

Proposition 7 would validate the enactment of House Bill 1313 from the 86th Legislature (2019) that ensured that the surviving spouse of an individual with a disability who died continued to receive the residence homestead exemption. The accompanying HJR did not pass during the 86th Legislature, meaning that the state law that currently extends the residence homestead exemption to surviving spouses of individuals with a disability, is unenforceable because the Texas Constitution does not reflect the change.

Opponents Say:

By extending the tax freeze for the surviving spouse of a person with a disability who qualifies for a homestead exemption, Proposition 7 could reduce school district revenues and increase costs to the state through the operation of school funding formulas. Such tax freezes would also shift more of the tax burden to those who do not qualify for the exemption, including businesses, renters, and younger homeowners—thereby furthering the erosion of the tax base.

Ballot Language:

"The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty."

Supporters Say:

This would correct an oversight in current law that provides a homestead tax exemption to all surviving spouses of members of the U.S. armed services killed or fatally injured in the line of duty, as opposed to just those killed in action. The term “killed in action” does not include acts of terrorism or non-hostile events or incidents, such as accidental vehicle crashes.

Opponents Say:

This would expand the property tax exemption provided to a certain group, thereby increasing the tax burden on other property owners, and further eroding the tax base.