Abilene Chamber Board of Directors Votes to Support Upcoming Items on November Ballot

September 22, 2023

Sept. 21, 2023

For more information contact:
Doug Peters
President & CEO

Laurin Kocurek, Vice President
Operations & Communications

Abilene Chamber Board of Directors Votes to Support Upcoming Items on November Ballot

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously at their September meeting to support proposed City-wide bond issues, the continuation of the Taylor County Events Venue District, the proposed Wylie Independent School District Bond and 12 of the 14 proposed State Constitutional Amendments – all on the ballot this November.

“As the Big Country’s largest business advocacy organization, it’s important to note that we are a pro-growth, pro-community organization,” said Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce. “We are not a ‘pro-tax’ organization. However, after significant research, discussion, and ultimately a recommendation from the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Council, members of the member-led Board of Directors voted unanimously that each of these projects will not only help our community remain economically competitive for the future but help us continue to meet our mission of developing and promoting the economy and quality of life for all.”

The following is a summary of each of the items brought forward to the Chamber Board of Directors, ultimately to be decided by voters:

Abilene-Taylor County Events Venue District

  • Paid for by visitors through the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), this type of tax can only be used to support specific types of tourism venues as stated in Texas law and approved by the Comptroller of the State of Texas. It cannot be used for other general purposes such as street repairs, police etc. (Texas Local Government Code 334 and 335).  Provides continued funding for the Taylor County Expo Center and FrontierTexas!, both important assets in the region’s tourism offerings.

City of Abilene Bond Issues

Proposition A – Abilene Zoo Projects – $15 million

Proposition B – Recreation Center Improvements – $28 million

Proposition C – Hike & Bike Trail Improvements — $9 million

Wylie ISD Bond Issues

Proposition A – Facilities and Equipment — $234 million

Proposition B – Community Events Center — $29 million

Proposition C – Student & Teacher Technology Devices — $6 million

State Constitutional Amendments

Proposition 1 – Agricultural Practices

  • Prohibits a city from restricting an agriculture-related activity within city limits unless it is dangerous or harmful.

Proposition 2 – Childcare Provider Property Tax Cut

  • Allows governmental entities to exempt part or all of their appraised value.

Proposition 3 – Prohibiting a Wealth Tax

  • Prevents the legislative from imposing a tax on net worth of an individual or business.

Proposition 4 – Omnibus Property Tax Cuts

  • Increases homestead exemption from 40k to 100k; creates three elected positions on central appraisal boards in counties with 75,000 residents or more and limits the increase in taxable values for non-homestead properties to no more than 20% per year.

Proposition 5 – Creating the Texas University Fund

  • Establishes a $3 billion endowment to assist emerging research Universities. This would initially include Texas State, Texas Tech, University of Houston, and University of North Texas, and other Universities can apply to be included.

Proposition 6 – Creating the Texas Water Fund

  • Creates Texas Water Fund with $1 billion under direction of Texas Water Development Board.

Proposition 7 – Creating the Texas Energy Fund

  • Public Utility Commission (PUC) will administer a $5 billion fund for loans or grants to finance or incentivize construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities to improve the reliability of the electric grid.

Proposition 8 – Creating Broadband Infrastructure Fund

  • Comptroller administers a $1.5 billion fund to finance infrastructure to expand broadband internet service to underserved areas of the state.

Proposition 9 – COLA for Teacher Retirement System Retirees

  • $5 billion fund, 2-6% raises depending when teachers retired, $2,400 one-time check age 70,-74, $7,500 one-time check over 75+.

Proposition 10 – Medical Manufacturing Property Tax Exemption

  • Establishes an ad valorem tax exemption on equipment and inventory manufactured by medical or biomedical companies.

Proposition 11 – El Paso Conservation District Bonds – NEUTRAL

  • Allows El Paso to issue bonds for recreational purposes.

Proposition 12 – Abolishing Galveston County Treasurer’s Office – NEUTRAL

  • Gives Commissioners Court authority to employ or contract to get work done.

Proposition 13 – Increasing mandatory retirement age for judges

  • Changes mandatory retirement age from 75 to 79.

Proposition 14 – Creating state park fund

  • $1 billion to improve or create new state parks.

Early voting is Monday, Oct. 23 through Friday, November 3, 2023. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. For more information on the issues above, visit abilenechamber.com/business-advocacy.

Since 1908, the Abilene Chamber has served as a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for developing and promoting the economy and quality of life. For more information on the Chamber and the 1,200 businesses it represents, visit www.abilenechamber.com





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