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Early voting begins Monday

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This Monday, April 25, voters in Bandera County and throughout the state can begin voting on two constitutional amendment propositions regarding the homestead exemption on their ballots: Proposition 1, Property Tax Limit Reduction for Elderly and Disabled Residents Amendment, and Proposition 2, Increased Homestead Exemption for School District Property Taxes.

Proposition 1 would authorize the state legislature to reduce the property tax limit for school maintenance and operations taxes imposed on elderly or disabled residents to reflect any tax rate reduction enacted by law from the preceding tax year.

This proposition was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 2 and passed the state Senate 29-0 with two absent and passed the state House by a vote of 116-0 with 32 absent or not voting.

"To use plain English, this proposition will compress the tax rate for school maintenance and operations (M&O) for homeowners with a 65+ or disabled exemption, just as HB 3 already did for other homeowners back in 2019,” said state Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst (R) in an article in the Fort Bend Herald. “Your tax rates for school taxes (M&O) are going down because we passed HB 3. This will help seniors receive the same benefit."

A “yes” vote supports the amendment; a “no” vote opposes it.

Proposition 2 would increase the homestead exemption for school district property taxes from $25,000 to $40,000, effective January 1, 2022.

Proposition 2 was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 2 and passed the state Senate unanimously 31-0 and the state House 147-0 with two absent.

The bill received bipartisan support, including from State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R) and State Senator Jose Menendez (D).

“The increase in the homestead exemption will save every homeowner $175 per year over the lifetime of their home, which will total in the thousands in tax savings,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan in a joint statement in 2021.

A “yes” vote supports increasing the exemption; a no vote would keep the existing exemption amount at $25,000 as passed in 2015.

Early voting will be held April 25 through May 3, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 pm. Extended hours will be available Tuesday, April 26, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Locations for early voting, regardless of precinct, are the Ray Mauer Annex, Lakehills Area Library and the Medina Annex.

Election Day is Saturday, May 7, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Election Day, those in Commissioner Precinct 1, Voting Precincts 101 and 102, will vote at the Pipe Creek VFD.

Those in Commissioner Precinct 2, Voting Precincts 203 and 204, will vote at the Lakehills Area LIbrary.

Those in Commissioner Precinct 3, Voting Precincts 305 and 306, will vote at the Ray Mauer Annex in Bandera.

Those in Commissioner Precinct 4, Voting Precincts 407 and 409, will vote at the Bandera ISD Trans Bus Barn.

Those in Commissioner Precinct 4, Voting Precincts 408 and 409, will vote at the Tarpley Community Center.