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OP-ED: Looking at Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

Proposition 2 is “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.”

According to ballotpedia.org, a “yes” vote supports amending the state constitution to:

  • authorize counties to issue bonds to fund transportation and infrastructure projects in blighted areas;
  • prohibit counties from allocating more than 65% of property tax revenue increases annually to repay the bonds; and
  • prohibit counties from using the funds from the issuance of the bonds to build a toll road.

A “no” vote opposes amending the state constitution, thereby maintaining that only cities and towns may issue bonds to fund transportation and infrastructure projects in blighted areas.

It does allow for improvement of blighted areas while still allowing taxpayers the opportunity to refuse a toll road. Currently, only cities or towns can build a road in blighted areas and this would allow counties to have the same authority. The bill also offers taxpayer protection by prohibiting the counties from pledging more than 65% of the increase in ad valorem tax revenues to repay the bonds.

This amendment was filed as House Joint Resolution 99 (HJR 99) on February 24, 2021. On May 13, 2021, the state House passed HJR 99 in a vote of 127-15, with eight absent or not voting. On May 26, the Senate approved an amended version of HJR 99 by a vote of 27-4. On March 28, the House voted to pass the amended version of HJR 99 by a vote of 126-13 with 11 absent or not voting.

Carefully reading the proposition prior to seeing it on the ballot is important because one can easily mean yes when they vote no. For this, we will continue to look at each proposition which will appear on the November 2, 2021 ballot. We are covering them in the order they will be on the ballot so you will have an opportunity to do further research and be informed before casting your vote.

In order to vote:

  • You must be at least 17 years and 10 months of age on the date your application is submitted.
  • Your application must be submitted 30 days before an election for you to be eligible to vote in that election.
  • Your spouse, parent, or child (acting as an agent) may complete and sign a voter registration application for you.  The agent must be a qualified voter of the county or has submitted a voter registration application in their name.
  • Complete a voter registration application and mail it or take it in person to the voter registration office in Orange County.  You may request a voter registration application by using an online form at https://www.co.orange.tx.us/departments/ElectionsAdministration/VoterApplication

 

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com