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News News
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 9/6/2013 Views: 1235  Impressions: 3194
Categories: Politics



This week's column will be the third in a series outlining the proposed constitutional amendments on which Texas voters will decide on November 5. These amendments were joint resolutions that were passed during the recent legislative session; however, because they change the Texas Constitution, they need state-wide voter approval before they can take effect. The order that the amendments appear on the ballot has been randomly selected by the secretary of state. This information is taken from a report by the House Research Organization, a nonpartisan agency that provides information to the legislature.

Amendment No. 3 (H.J.R. 133)
The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extent the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.
House Joint Resolution 133 proposes to amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the governing body of a political subdivision (such as a municipality, county, or school district) to extend the date by which aircraft parts held by a business in Texas that are exempt from property taxation as "freeport goods" must be transported outside the state in order to retain tax-exempt status. Under the proposed amendment, a governing body could extend the date that such aircraft parts must be exported to not later than the 730th day (the second year) after the date the taxpayer acquired or imported the aircraft parts in this state instead of the 175th day as is currently required by law. The proposed amendment would authorize the legislature to provide the manner by which a governing body could extend the period of time. In addition, the proposed amendment provides that an extension would apply only to the exemption from property taxation by the political subdivision adopting the extension. The proposed amendment would apply only to a tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2014.
Supporters say the current 175-day unfairly disqualifies aircraft parts, which generally are held in inventory for longer periods of time. Aircraft parts may not be needed by a customer for many months, so an inventory does not turn over very quickly. If the parts are detained in Texas for more than 175 days, the parts do not qualify for the current exemption. This tax burden places Texas aircraft parts suppliers at a competitive disadvantage with suppliers located in other states, and may be a deterrent to business relocations to Texas or expansion of operations already in Texas.
Opponents of the constitutional amendment have raised questions about the cost to local governments, as well as costs to the state when offsetting lost tax revenue. The impact to the state and local governments cannot be predicted because the number of taxing units that would extend the freeport exemption period, and the taxable value of the parts that would become subject to the exemption is unknown.
You can view a complete list of the proposed constitutional amendments with analyses online at www.hro.house.state.tx.us. For more information regarding these propositions, you can contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.




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