September 29, 2019
I hope everyone has enjoyed their summer and has been able to stay cool in these hottest months of the year. Now that our children are returning to school, the weather will hopefully begin to change as we make our way into fall. Fall also brings election season, and while we are not voting for big-ticket items like the President or Governor, there are some very important constitutional amendments to the Texas Constitution that are present on the ballot. Every Legislative Session lawmakers propose amendments to the state's constitution. Once those amendments pass the Legislature they must be approved by the voters in a statewide election. The election will take place on November 5th of this year.
One amendment in particular has drawn a lot of attention. Proposition 4, if approved by the voters on November 5th, will prohibit the collection of an income tax of individuals by the State of Texas. The ballot language will read as follows: "The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual's share of partnership and unincorporated association income." As I have traveled and visited with constituents throughout the district, there seems to be a lot of misinformation in regards to this proposed constitutional amendment.
Currently the State of Texas does not collect an income tax and has had no plans to do so. Also under current law, there would need to be a statewide election where voters would have to approve the collection of an income tax. Proposition 4, if approved by voters, would further solidify the ban of an income tax. If Proposition 4 is passed, any future legislature that wanted to impose an income tax would have to pass an amendment by two-thirds in each house and then it would also have to be approved by voters in a statewide election. If Proposition 4 is not approved by voters in November, the current law will still be in effect. There will not be a sudden imposition of an income tax by the State.
To be clear, voting yes for Proposition 4 would mean you support the stronger ban of a Statewide income tax on individuals. By voting no, this proposition would not pass and the current law would continue where a statewide election would need to be held for voters to approve an income tax. I have seen information on social media stating that if this proposition fails, the state would being collecting an income tax. This is simply incorrect.
As your State Representative, I was a joint-author of this legislation, House Joint Resolution 38, which is appearing as Proposition 4 on the November ballot. Texas is one of 7 states in our nation that does not levy a personal income tax. By 2025 there will be 9 states total that do not collect an individual income tax. Texas continues to be the economic envy of the United States and if this amendment is approved to our state constitution, it will ensure that we never experience the economic consequences of an overly burdensome state income tax. I want to ensure that the state never comes in to take more of your hard earned money. I hope to see this amendment get ratified by the voters of Texas.
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God Bless you, your family and the Great State of Texas!
State Representative HD-16