84(R) - 2015
House Ways & Means
House Ways & Means
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.
A fiscal note dated March 16, 2015 indicates that the resolution alone would have no fiscal implication to the State other than the cost of publication. Any additional fiscal implication would be attributable to the corresponding enabling legislation, HB 992.
The cost to the state for publication of the resolution is $118,681.
Under current law, the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who qualified for an exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of the veteran's residence homestead before the veteran's death is entitled to the same exemption under certain conditions. This exemption for surviving spouses was passed during the 82nd Legislature.
House Joint Resolution 75 would amend the Texas Constitution to allow the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who would have qualified for the 100 percent or totally disabled veteran residence homestead exemption, if that exemption had been in effect on the date the disabled veteran died, to be entitled to the surviving spouse exemption.
House Joint Resolution 75 would have to be approved by voters.
HB 992 is the enabling legislation for House Joint Resolution 75.
The second chamber sponsor for HJR 75 is Senator Larry Taylor.
Vote Recommendation Notes
No amendments or modifications have been made to House Joint
Resolution 75 since we reported on it. We continue to oppose it.
House Joint Resolution 75 stems from good intentions. We understand the hardship placed on disabled veterans and their family and fully appreciate the price they pay to defend our country.
Nevertheless, House Joint Resolution 75 would apply an exemption retroactively in order for the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran to benefit from the equivalent exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of the veteran's, and the surviving spouse's, residence homestead.
It would retroactively qualify a small category of people for an exemption, and as such, House Joint Resolution 75 can potentially create unintended consequences on the long term.
A good example of such unintended consequences lies in Senate Bill 1368
which has been recently reported favorably out of committee. SB 1368 tries to remedy the revenue losses caused by these exact same exemptions to cities and counties located near or around major military installations. SB 1368 would provide that some of these cities and counties receive state aid to compensate revenue losses due to these exemptions.
In 2017, the projected loss of revenue to local school districts would be $6.6 million, $2.4 million for counties, $2.3 million for cities, and $1.7 million for special districts. Local school districts would lose approximately $1.6-1.7 million per year through 2020 (after the initial wave of applicants tapers off).
Low taxation that applies broadly to the entire population is more efficient and has less potential to create unintended consequences. We urge the Legislature to consider the problem created by these exemptions through the example of SB 1368 before broadening their scope through House Joint Resolution 75. As a consequence, we oppose House Joint Resolution 75.