In Texas, everything is bigger – including the constitution. Texas has the second longest state constitution in the United States. With over 500 amendments (and counting), you may think there is an inspired legal framework holding together the Lone Star State; however, the reason the constitution is so long is because it was built that way.
The legislature’s power is limited by the constitution and, unlike Texas’s sister states to the east and west, Texas requires a constitutional amendment to change laws that could otherwise be adopted through an initiative or referendum process or by legislative action. As a result, even small changes – like expanding an existing tax break – sometimes require a constitutional amendment.
To illustrate, there are three property tax issues that Texans will have the opportunity to vote on in the November 2, 2021 ballot and one in the May 7, 2022 ballot. Each issue requires a constitutional amendment and are described below:
As you can see, the tax issues on the November and May ballots are relatively minor. Nevertheless, they each require a constitutional amendment. So, the next time you read about a constitutional amendment involving Texas property taxes, remember that the power of the legislature in terms of property taxation is limited in many circumstances.