AUSTIN, Texas – Monday began a two-week period of early voting in Texas. Voters across the state get to weigh in on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution. They deal with everything from retiring law enforcement animals, to the state's tax code. One of the amendments has state teachers fired up.
- There are 10 proposed amendments on the ballot
- Prop 4 would make it harder to enact a Texas state income tax
- Currently, if Texas ever collected income tax, it would fund schools
Proposition 4 would place a ban on enacting a state income tax on individuals, and if someone in the state government were to try and enact an income tax, it would require a constitutional amendment (and a two-thirds majority vote) to make it happen.
"If you're against it, and you want to make it more difficult to impose a state income tax then you vote for this proposition," said Rod Bordelon with the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Bordelon says the Texas economy competes globally because of low taxes. He believes voting against Proposition 4 will mean the Texas economy will suffer. But Texas teachers say there's more to the proposition than meets a voters’ eye.
"They're very much against proposition four," said Clay Robison with the Texas State Teachers Association.
Currently, the state constitution says if an income tax is ever collected, the majority of that revenue would go toward public education. Robison believes one day the state will need that income tax.
"Not tomorrow, not next year, but at some time in the future, and nobody knows when that's going to be, Texas is going to have to have more revenue," said Robison.
Since the constitution says that collected revenue would fund schools he wants to hold on to that safe-guard. Without it, he fears schools could close and teachers could lose their jobs.
Robison and his team have been working to rally teachers in opposition of the proposition, but he isn't holding out hope that his side will win.
He says that not only is he worried that people are uninformed about what's actually on the ballot, he's worried that not a lot of people are going to show up to vote.
Bordelon says he's confident those against the measure are in the minority and Texas' high bar against an income tax will soon be even higher.
"Texas will be a low tax state," said Brodelon.