Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

October 6, 2013

Voters will decide if local governments should extend tax exemptions to the aircraft industry

Following is a look from the League of Women Voters at two of the nine proposed changes to the Texas Constitution that will be on the Nov. 5 statewide election ballot. Early voting is Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Registered voters can vote at any county location during early voting. The last day to register is Oct. 7.

AUSTIN – A decision on which of nine proposed amendments passed by the 2013 Texas Legislature will be added to the Texas Constitution is up to Texas voters on Nov. 5, according to LWV-Texas Education Fund Chair Linda Krefting.

A proposed amendment begins as a joint resolution filed during a legislative session and is placed before voters if passed by at least a two-thirds majority of the Texas House and Senate.

Proposition 3 on the November ballot would provide an extension to an existing exemption, commonly referred to as a “Freeport exemption,” from property taxes on eligible property that is in Texas temporarily, such as various types of merchandise used in manufacturing or processing. The proposed amendment, which applies only to aircraft and aircraft parts, would allow local governments to extend the time before the property has to be transported outside of the state from 175 days up to 730 days.

Those supporting Proposition 3 believe the proposed extension would provide an economic development tool intended to make Texas competitive in the aerospace industry that contributes billions to the state’s economy, because most other states don’t impose a tax on inventory. Granting an extension would be totally at the option of each local government already granting an exemption.

Others are concerned that an additional extension for aircraft and aircraft parts would reduce local tax revenue and favor one industry over others.

Those who vote in the Nov. 5 election will determine whether or not to allow local governments to extend the time that aircraft and aircraft parts can remain in the jurisdiction before being transported out of state. Each of the other eight propositions on the November 5 ballot will be addressed in a weekly series “Texas Voters Will Decide” leading up to the start of early voting on Oct. 21.

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