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Brazos County political parties weigh in on proposed changes to Texas Constitution

Posted at 8:48 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 21:48:35-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Headed to the polls on May 7, or the days leading up? Two amendments to the Texas constitution have been proposed, which could affect property taxes and public schooling.

Early voting has already begun as Texans draw closer to the special election day. Texans have the chance to vote for or against two propositions.

The first proposition reduces how much elderly and disabled citizens pay in property taxes to public schools. The second proposition increases the amount of property tax exemptions a person can receive. Those propositions can be read here: Proclamation (texas.gov)

“I support the concept of lower taxes, clearly, but I’m quite concerned that the legislature only came up with a short term answer with how to make up for the lost revenue," said Cecelia Hawkins, a former English professor and volunteer with the Brazos County Democratic Party.

Voters like Hawkins are concerned that school districts will suffer if property taxes are brought down in this way. The Texas Tribune wrote in a Feb. 16 article that lost funds for schools will be replaced by the state government. Hawkins questions: how long is that sustainable?

“The state has to come up with a way to make up the difference," she commented. "And I think a lot of people would agree with me that property taxes in the long run are not going to be the best answer for funding public schools.”

Hawkins said she hopes this will be considered a bipartisan issue. Brazos County Republican Party chair Elianor Vessali said that while her party is in favor of lowering property taxes, there has been plenty of diverging opinions within the party on how best to do that.

“These two amendments provide some area for relief, so I think people in general are supportive of that," she said. "But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to keep pushing for more property tax relief for homeowners.”

A former teacher herself, Vessali expressed that for her, the concept of schools receiving less funding isn’t cause for alarm.

"There is a level of administrative bloat in public schools, and the issue is no longer how much money they receive, but how it’s being spent," she noted.

Both political parties are concerned that not enough Brazos County residents will get out and vote. For more information on how and when to get to the polls, visit the following link: