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Texas Constitution
(Selected Sections)

Article VIII.
Taxation and Revenue.

  Sec. 1. Equality and Uniformity; Tax in Proportion to Value; Income Tax; Exemption of Certain Tangible Personal Property from Ad Valorem Taxation.

(a) Taxation shall be equal and uniform.

(b) All real property and tangible personal property in this State, unless exempt as required or permitted by this Constitution, whether owned by natural persons or corporations, other than municipal, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, which shall be ascertained as may be provided by law.

(c) The Legislature may provide for the taxation of intangible property and may also impose occupation taxes, both upon natural persons and upon corporations, other than municipal, doing any business in this State. Subject to the restrictions of Section 24 of this article, it may also tax incomes of both natural persons and corporations other than municipal. Persons engaged in mechanical and agricultural pursuits shall never be required to pay an occupation tax.

(d) The Legislature by general law shall exempt from ad valorem taxation household goods not held or used for the production of income and personal effects not held or used for the production of income. The Legislature by general law may exempt from ad valorem taxation:

(1) all or part of the personal property homestead of a family or single adult, "personal property homestead" meaning that personal property exempt by law from forced sale for debt;

(2) subject to Subsections (e) and (g) of this section, all other tangible personal property, except structures which are substantially affixed to real estate and are used or occupied as residential dwellings and except property held or used for the production of income;

(3) subject to Subsection (e) of this section, a leased motor vehicle that is not held primarily for the production of income by the lessee and that otherwise qualifies under general law for exemption; and

(4) one motor vehicle, as defined by general law, owned by an individual that is used in the course of the individual's occupation or profession and is also used for personal activities of the owner that do not involve the production of income.

(e) The governing body of a political subdivision may provide for the taxation of all property exempt under a law adopted under Subdivision (2) or (3) of Subsection (d) of this section and not exempt from ad valorem taxation by any other law. The Legislature by general law may provide limitations to the application of this subsection to the taxation of vehicles exempted under the authority of Subdivision (3) of Subsection (d) of this section.

(f) The occupation tax levied by any county, city or town for any year on persons or corporations pursuing any profession or business, shall not exceed one half of the tax levied by the State for the same period on such profession or business.

(g) The Legislature may exempt from ad valorem taxation tangible personal property that is held or used for the production of income and has a taxable value of less than the minimum amount sufficient to recover the costs of the administration of the taxes on the property, as determined by or under the general law granting the exemption.

(h) The Legislature may exempt from ad valorem taxation a mineral interest that has a taxable value of less than the minimum amount sufficient to recover the costs of the administration of the taxes on the interest, as determined by or under the general law granting the exemption.

(i) Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Legislature by general law may limit the maximum appraised value of a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes in a tax year to the lesser of the most recent market value of the residence homestead as determined by the appraisal entity or 110 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the residence homestead for the preceding tax year. A limitation on appraised values authorized by this subsection:

(1) takes effect as to a residence homestead on the later of the effective date of the law imposing the limitation or January 1 of the tax year following the first tax year the owner qualifies the property for an exemption under Section 1-b of this article; and

(2) expires on January 1 of the first tax year that neither the owner of the property when the limitation took effect nor the owner's spouse or surviving spouse qualifies for an exemption under Section 1-b of this article.

(i-1) Temporary Provision.

(a) This temporary provision applies to the constitutional amendment proposed by the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation a travel trailer not held or used for the production of income and expires January 1, 2005.

(b) The amendment to Section 1(d), Article VIII of this constitution, takes effect January 1, 2004, and applies only to a tax year that begins on or after January 1, 2002. The repeal of Section 1(j), Article VIII of this constitution, takes effect January 1, 2004.

(j) Repealed Sept. 13, 2003.

  Sec. 1-a. No State Ad Valorem Tax Levy; County Levy for Roads and Flood Control; Tax Donations.

The several counties of the State are authorized to levy ad valorem taxes upon all property within their respective boundaries for county purposes, except the first Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) value of residential homesteads of married or unmarried adults, including those living alone, not to exceed thirty cents (30) on each One Hundred Dollars ($100) valuation, in addition to all other ad valorem taxes authorized by the Constitution of this State, provided the revenue derived there from shall be used for construction and maintenance of Farm to Market Roads or for Flood Control, except as herein otherwise provided.

  Sec. 1-b. Residence Homestead Exemption.

(a) Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) of the assessed taxable value of all residence homesteads of married or unmarried adults, male or female, including those living alone, shall be exempt from all taxation for all State purposes.

(b) The governing body of any county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the State may exempt by its own action not less than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) of the market value of residence homesteads of persons, married or unmarried, including those living alone, who are under a disability for purposes of payment of disability insurance benefits under Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance or its successor or of married or unmarried persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older, including those living alone, from all ad valorem taxes thereafter levied by the political subdivision. As an alternative, upon receipt of a petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the voters who voted in the last preceding election held by the political subdivision, the governing body of the subdivision shall call an election to determine by majority vote whether an amount not less than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000) as provided in the petition, of the market value of residence homesteads of disabled persons or of persons sixty-five (65) years of age or over shall be exempt from ad valorem taxes thereafter levied by the political subdivision. An eligible disabled person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older may not receive both exemptions from the same political subdivision in the same year but may choose either if the subdivision has adopted both. Where any ad valorem tax has theretofore been pledged for the payment of any debt, the taxing officers of the political subdivision shall have authority to continue to levy and collect the tax against the homestead property at the same rate as the tax so pledged until the debt is discharged, if the cessation of the levy would impair the obligation of the contract by which the debt was created.

(c) Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) of the market value of the residence homestead of a married or unmarried adult, including one living alone, is exempt from ad valorem taxation for general elementary and secondary public school purposes. The legislature by general law may provide that all or part of the exemption does not apply to a district or political subdivision that imposes ad valorem taxes for public education purposes but is not the principal school district providing general elementary and secondary public education throughout its territory. In addition to this exemption, the legislature by general law may exempt an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) of the market value of the residence homestead of a person who is disabled as defined in Subsection (b) of this section and of a person sixty-five (65) years of age or older from ad valorem taxation for general elementary and secondary public school purposes. The legislature by general law may base the amount of and condition eligibility for the additional exemption authorized by this subsection for disabled persons and for persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older on economic need. An eligible disabled person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older may not receive both exemptions from a school district but may choose either. An eligible person is entitled to receive both the exemption required by this subsection for all residence homesteads and any exemption adopted pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section, but the legislature shall provide by general law whether an eligible disabled or elderly person may receive both the additional exemption for the elderly and disabled authorized by this subsection and any exemption for the elderly or disabled adopted pursuant to Subsection (b) of this section. Where ad valorem tax has previously been pledged for the payment of debt, the taxing officers of a school district may continue to levy and collect the tax against the value of homesteads exempted under this subsection until the debt is discharged if the cessation of the levy would impair the obligation of the contract by which the debt was created. The legislature shall provide for formulas to protect school districts against all or part of the revenue loss incurred by the implementation of Article VIII, Sections 1-b(c), 1-b(d), and 1-d-1, of this constitution. The legislature by general law may define residence homestead for purposes of this section.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, if a person receives a residence homestead exemption prescribed by Subsection (c) of this section for homesteads of persons who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older or who are disabled, the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on that homestead for general elementary and secondary public school purposes may not be increased while it remains the residence homestead of that person or that person's spouse who receives the exemption. If a person sixty-five (65) years of age or older dies in a year in which the person received the exemption, the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on the homestead for general elementary and secondary public school purposes may not be increased while it remains the residence homestead of that person's surviving spouse if the spouse is fifty-five (55) years of age or older at the time of the person's death, subject to any exceptions provided by general law. The legislature, by general law, may provide for the transfer of all or a proportionate amount of a limitation provided by this subsection for a person who qualifies for the limitation and establishes a different residence homestead. However, taxes otherwise limited by this subsection may be increased to the extent the value of the homestead is increased by improvements other than repairs or improvements made to comply with governmental requirements and except as may be consistent with the transfer of a limitation under this subsection. For a residence homestead subject to the limitation provided by this subsection in the 1996 tax year or an earlier tax year, the legislature shall provide for a reduction in the amount of the limitation for the 1997 tax year and subsequent tax years in an amount equal to $10,000 multiplied by the 1997 tax rate for general elementary and secondary public school purposes applicable to the residence homestead.

(d-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (d) of this section, the legislature by general law may provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation provided by that subsection and applicable to a residence homestead for the 2007 tax year to reflect any reduction from the 2006 tax year in the tax rate for general elementary and secondary public school purposes applicable to the homestead. A general law enacted under this subsection may also take into account any reduction in the tax rate for those purposes from the 2005 tax year to the 2006 tax year if the homestead was subject to the limitation in the 2006 tax year. A general law enacted under this subsection may provide that, except as otherwise provided by Subsection (d) of this section, a limitation provided by that subsection that is reduced under the general law continues to apply to the residence homestead in subsequent tax years until the limitation expires.

(e) The governing body of a political subdivision, other than a county education district, may exempt from ad valorem taxation a percentage of the market value of the residence homestead of a married or unmarried adult, including one living alone. In the manner provided by law, the voters of a county education district at an election held for that purpose may exempt from ad valorem taxation a percentage of the market value of the residence homestead of a married or unmarried adult, including one living alone. The percentage may not exceed twenty percent. However, the amount of an exemption authorized pursuant to this subsection may not be less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) unless the legislature by general law prescribes other monetary restrictions on the amount of the exemption. An eligible adult is entitled to receive other applicable exemptions provided by law. Where ad valorem tax has previously been pledged for the payment of debt, the governing body of a political subdivision may continue to levy and collect the tax against the value of the homesteads exempted under this subsection until the debt is discharged if the cessation of the levy would impair the obligation of the contract by which the debt was created. The legislature by general law may prescribe procedures for the administration of residence homestead exemptions.

(f) The surviving spouse of a person who received an exemption under Subsection (b) of this section for the residence homestead of a person sixty-five (65) years of age or older is entitled to an exemption for the same property from the same political subdivision in an amount equal to that of the exemption received by the deceased spouse if the deceased spouse died in a year in which the deceased spouse received the exemption, the surviving spouse was fifty-five (55) years of age or older when the deceased spouse died, and the property was the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the deceased spouse died and remains the residence homestead of the surviving spouse. A person who receives an exemption under Subsection (b) of this section is not entitled to an exemption under this subsection. The legislature by general law may prescribe procedures for the administration of this subsection.

(g) If the legislature provides for the transfer of all or a proportionate amount of a tax limitation provided by Subsection (d) of this section for a person who qualifies for the limitation and subsequently establishes a different residence homestead, the legislature by general law may authorize the governing body of a school district to elect to apply the law providing for the transfer of the tax limitation to a change of a person's residence homestead that occurred before that law took effect, subject to any restrictions provided by general law. The transfer of the limitation may apply only to taxes imposed in a tax year that begins after the tax year in which the election is made.

(h) The governing body of a county, a city or town, or a junior college district by official action may provide that if a person who is disabled or is sixty-five (65) years of age or older receives a residence homestead exemption prescribed or authorized by this section, the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on that homestead by the county, the city or town, or the junior college district may not be increased while it remains the residence homestead of that person or that person's spouse who is disabled or sixty-five (65) years of age or older and receives a residence homestead exemption on the homestead. As an alternative, on receipt of a petition signed by five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the county, the city or town, or the junior college district, the governing body of the county, the city or town, or the junior college district shall call an election to determine by majority vote whether to establish a tax limitation provided by this subsection. If a county, a city or town, or a junior college district establishes a tax limitation provided by this subsection and a disabled person or a person sixty-five (65) years of age or older dies in a year in which the person received a residence homestead exemption, the total amount of ad valorem taxes imposed on the homestead by the county, the city or town, or the junior college district may not be increased while it remains the residence homestead of that person's surviving spouse if the spouse is fifty-five (55) years of age or older at the time of the person's death, subject to any exceptions provided by general law. The legislature, by general law, may provide for the transfer of all or a proportionate amount of a tax limitation provided by this subsection for a person who qualifies for the limitation and establishes a different residence homestead within the same county, within the same city or town, or within the same junior college district. A county, a city or town, or a junior college district that establishes a tax limitation under this subsection must comply with a law providing for the transfer of the limitation, even if the legislature enacts the law subsequent to the county's, the city's or town's, or the junior college district's establishment of the limitation. Taxes otherwise limited by a county, a city or town, or a junior college district under this subsection may be increased to the extent the value of the homestead is increased by improvements other than repairs and other than improvements made to comply with governmental requirements and except as may be consistent with the transfer of a tax limitation under a law authorized by this subsection. The governing body of a county, a city or town, or a junior college district may not repeal or rescind a tax limitation established under this subsection.

(i) The legislature by general law may exempt from ad valorem taxation all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of a disabled veteran who is certified as having a service-connected disability with a disability rating of 100 percent or totally disabled and may provide additional eligibility requirements for the exemption. For purposes of this subsection, "disabled veteran" means a disabled veteran as described by Section 2(b) of this article.

  Sec. 1-d. Assessment of Lands Designated for Agricultural Use.

(a) All land owned by natural persons which is designated for agricultural use in accordance with the provisions of this Section shall be assessed for all tax purposes on the consideration of only those factors relative to such agricultural use. "Agricultural use" means the raising of livestock or growing of crops, fruit, flowers, and other products of the soil under natural conditions as a business venture for profit, which business is the primary occupation and source of income of the owner.

(b) For each assessment year the owner wishes to qualify his land under provisions of this Section as designated for agricultural use he shall file with the local tax assessor a sworn statement in writing describing the use to which the land is devoted.

(c) Upon receipt of the sworn statement in writing the local tax assessor shall determine whether or not such land qualifies for the designation as to agricultural use as defined herein and in the event it so qualifies he shall designate such land as being for agricultural use and assess the land accordingly.

(d) Such local tax assessor may inspect the land and require such evidence of use and source of income as may be necessary or useful in determining whether or not the agricultural use provision of this article applies.

(e) No land may qualify for the designation provided for in this Act unless for at least three (3) successive years immediately preceding the assessment date the land has been devoted exclusively for agricultural use, or unless the land has been continuously developed for agriculture during such time.

(f) Each year during which the land is designated for agricultural use, the local tax assessor shall note on his records the valuation which would have been made had the land not qualified for such designation under this Section. If designated land is subsequently diverted to a purpose other than that of agricultural use, or is sold, the land shall be subject to an additional tax. The additional tax shall equal the difference between taxes paid or payable, hereunder, and the amount of tax payable for the preceding three years had the land been otherwise assessed. Until paid, there shall be a lien for additional taxes and interest on land assessed under the provisions of this Section.

(g) The valuation and assessment of any minerals or subsurface rights to minerals shall not come within the provisions of this Section.

  Sec. 1-d-1. Taxation of Certain Open-Space Land.

(a) To promote the preservation of open-space land, the legislature shall provide by general law for taxation of open-space land devoted to farm, ranch, or wildlife management purposes on the basis of its productive capacity and may provide by general law for taxation of open-space land devoted to timber production on the basis of its productive capacity. The legislature by general law may provide eligibility limitations under this section and may impose sanctions in furtherance of the taxation policy of this section.

(b) If a property owner qualifies his land for designation for agricultural use under Section 1-d of this article, the land is subject to the provisions of Section 1-d for the year in which the designation is effective and is not subject to a law enacted under this Section 1-d-1 in that year.

  Sec. 1-e. Abolition of Ad Valorem Property Taxes.

No State ad valorem taxes shall be levied upon any property within this State.

  Sec. 1-f. Cultural, Historical, or Natural History Preservation; Ad Valorem Tax Relief.

The legislature by law may provide for the preservation of cultural, historical, or natural history resources by:

(1) granting exemptions or other relief from state ad valorem taxes on appropriate property so designated in the manner prescribed by law; and

(2) authorizing political subdivisions to grant exemptions or other relief from ad valorem taxes on appropriate property so designated by the political subdivision in the manner prescribed by general law.

  Sec. 1-g. Development or Redevelopment of Property; Ad Valorem Tax Relief and Issuance of Bonds and Notes.

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize cities, towns, and other taxing units to grant exemptions or other relief from ad valorem taxes on property located in a reinvestment zone for the purpose of encouraging development or redevelopment and improvement of the property.

(b) The legislature by general law may authorize an incorporated city or town to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the city or town and to pledge for repayment of those bonds or notes increases in ad valorem tax revenues imposed on property in the area by the city or town and other political subdivisions.

  Sec. 1-h. Validation of Assessment Ratio.

Section 26.03, Tax Code, is validated as of January 1, 1980.

  Sec. 1-i. Mobile Marine Drilling Equipment; Ad Valorem Tax Relief.

The legislature by general law may provide ad valorem tax relief for mobile marine drilling equipment designed for offshore drilling of oil or gas wells that is being stored while not in use in a county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico or on a bay or other body of water immediately adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico.

  Sec. 1-j. Certain Tangible Personal Property Exempt from Ad Valorem Taxation.

(a) To promote economic development in the State, goods, wares, merchandise, other tangible personal property, and ores, other than oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products, are exempt from ad valorem taxation if:

(1) the property is acquired in or imported into this State to be forwarded outside this State, whether or not the intention to forward the property outside this State is formed or the destination to which the property is forwarded is specified when the property is acquired in or imported into this state;

(2) the property is detained in this State for assembling, storing, manufacturing, processing, or fabricating purposes by the person who acquired or imported the property; and

(3) the property is transported outside this State not later than 175 days after the date the person acquired or imported the property in this State.

(b) The governing body of a county, common, or independent school district, junior college district, or municipality that, acting under previous constitutional authority, taxes property otherwise exempt by Subsection (a) of this section may subsequently exempt the property from taxation by rescinding its action to tax the property. The exemption applies to each tax year that begins after the date the action is taken and applies to the tax year in which the action is taken if the governing body so provides. A governing body that rescinds its action to tax the property may not take action to tax such property after the rescission.

(c) For purposes of this section:

(1) tangible personal property shall include aircraft and aircraft parts;

(2) property imported into this State shall include property brought into this State;

(3) property forwarded outside this State shall include property transported outside this State or to be affixed to an aircraft to be transported outside this State; and

(4) property detained in this State for assembling, storing, manufacturing, processing, or fabricating purposes shall include property, aircraft, or aircraft parts brought into this State and used by the person who acquired the property, aircraft, or aircraft parts in or who brought the property, aircraft, or aircraft parts into this State for the purpose of repair or maintenance of aircraft operated by a certified air carrier.

  Sec. 1-k. Nonprofit Corporations Supplying Water or Providing Wastewater Services; Exemption of Property from Ad Valorem Taxation.

The legislature by general law may exempt from ad valorem taxation property owned by a nonprofit corporation organized to supply water or provide wastewater service that provides in the bylaws of the corporation that on dissolution of the corporation, the assets of the corporation remaining after discharge of the corporation's indebtedness shall be transferred to an entity that provides a water supply or wastewater service, or both, that is exempt from ad valorem taxation, if the property is reasonably necessary for and used in the acquisition, treatment, storage, transportation, sale or distribution of water or the provision of wastewater service.































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