TEXAS (KMID/KPEJ)- Polls are set to close across the Basin at 7:00 p.m. so, if you haven’t yet voted, you still have time. Aside from the Midland ISD, Ector County ISD, and Greenwood ISD school bond proposals on the ballot, voters will also be deciding on 14 constitutional amendments statewide. Here’s a look at what each of those amendments means:

Prop 1: The Right to Farm

  • Further protects farmers, ranchers, etc. from local regulations
  • Raises the requirements needed for local governments to impose regulations on farms within city limits
  • Some argue this is redundant due to the major restrictions the legislature placed on local governments to pass ordinances in HB 2427

Prop 2: Child-care facility property tax exemption

  • Intended to reduce financial burdens on struggling facilities
  • Does not require property owners to pass on the savings to tenants

Prop 3: Wealth tax ban

  • Nobody is proposing a tax on wealth, but this would make it that much harder to ever impose one in the future

Prop 4: The Big Property Tax Cut

  • This was the legislature’s top priority and pushed us into two special sessions
  • Raises homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000
  • Limits appraisal growth for business property year-to-year
  • Increases state funding to public education to “buy down” local property tax rates
  • Average tax savings expected to be over $1,200 a year

Prop 5: Texas University Fund

  • Creates a new permanent endowment for emerging public research universities like Texas Tech and UH
  • Meant to rival the billions of dollars reserved for UT and A&M in the Permanent University Fund

Prop 6: Texas Water Fund

  • Establishes a fund to protect aging pipes
  • Addresses need to diversify water sources in a drought-prone and rapidly growing state
  • Texas loses 136 billion gallons of fresh water every year due to leaky pipes, according to the author Sen. Charles Perry

Prop 7: Texas Energy Fund

  • Provides no-interest loans and grants to energy companies to incentivize more energy production, construction of new facilities
  • Targets “dispatchable” power – meaning oil and gas
  • Addresses some of the concerns fueled by the 2021 blackouts, but still controversial – doesn’t do anything for renewable energy

Prop 8: Broadband Infrastructure Fund

  • Creates the Fund to enhance availability and usage of internet and phone service
  • Helps pay for services in areas that would otherwise not be profitable for companies to service
  • 7 million Texans lack broadband access today, according to the Comptroller

Prop 9: More money for retired teachers

  • Retired teachers have not received a cost-of-living adjustment in 20 years
  • This will increase monthly pensions for support staff
  • Adds $3.45B to Teacher Retirement System
  • One quarter of the system’s 475,000 beneficiaries receive less than $1,000 a month

Prop 10: Tax cut for medical manufacturers

  • Exempts tangible property owned by medical product manufacturers 
  • Intended to solidify medical supply chain and give a nice break to the Houston Medical Center, for example.

Prop 11: El Paso County bonds for parks

  • don’t worry about it

Prop 12: Abolishes Galveston County Treasurer

  • don’t worry about it

Prop 13: Ups mandatory retirement age for state judges

  • Increases age from 75 to 79
  • Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht is 74

Prop 14: Park Conservation Fund

  • Creates trust fund for creation and improvement of state parks
  • “Birthday present” for the state park’s system 100th birthday