Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 4, 2013

State, local vote Tuesday

Corsicana — Texas voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide nine statewide propositions and a variety of local issues on ballots throughout the state.

In Navarro County, in addition to the nine state issues, are two local bond elections — Navarro County is seeking authority to issue $7.5 million in bonds to help fund the proposed restoration of the Navarro County Courthouse, and the Kerens Independent School District is asking for approval on a $16.7 million bond issue for improvements to the district’s school facilities.

Nearly 1,400 early votes were cast in person in Navarro County during early voting, and another 218 ballot by mail applications were received, according to Danda Parker of the Navarro County  Elections Office. Parker reminds voters that Texas law now requires voters to produce a photo ID at the polls.

The nine state propositions on the ballot are:

Proposition 1 authorizes the Legislature exempt from property all or part of the market value of the homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed services who is killed in action, as long as the surviving spouse has not remarried.

Proposition 2 repeals the constitutional provision requiring a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is in operation.

Proposition 3 authorizes local authorities to extend the length of time that aircraft parts could remain temporarily in this state before being subject to property tax. Under current law, aircraft parts may remain in Texas for up to 175 days before being subject to tax. Taxing entities could extend the exemption up to 730 days.

Proposition 4 allows the Legislature to provide for a property tax exemption of part of the market value of the homestead of a partially disabled veteran, or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran, if the residence was donated by a charitable organization.

Proposition 5 amends the definition of "reverse mortgage" to authorize reverse mortgage loans for the purchase of homestead property in addition to the current uses, and would give lenders recourse against borrowers who fail to timely occupy the homestead properties purchased with such loans.

Proposition 6 creates the State Water Implementation Fund as a special fund inside the state treasury and outside the General Revenue Fund. Money in the fund would be administered by the Texas Water Development Board and would be used to implement the state water plan.

Proposition 7 allows home-rule municipalities to adopt provisions authorizing the filling of vacancies in the governing body by appointment, but only when the remainder of the vacant term is less than 12 months.

Proposition 8 repeals the Texas Constitution's maximum tax rate for a Hidalgo County hospital district. The maximum rate is currently set at 10 cents per $100 valuation, which is lower than the maximum tax rate allowable for hospital districts in all other counties in the state (75 cents per $100 valuation).

Proposition 9 expands the potential sanctions that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct can issue following a formal proceeding. This constitutional amendment would allow the commission to issue an order of public admonition, warning, reprimand, or a requirement to obtain additional training or education in addition to the Commission's current authority to issue a public censure or recommend removal or retirement of a judge.

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