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OPINION: From the editor: Looking at Proposition 8 (SJR 35)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

Similar to proposition 7, this measure would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize a total residence homestead property tax exemption for a surviving spouse of a member of the armed services “who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

Currently, the constitution grants the exemption to the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services “who is killed in action.” The amended version would also include service members who were fatally injured during military training or other military duties, according to reformaustin.org

A “yes” vote supports amending the state constitution to allow the legislature to provide a homestead property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a military member “killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

A “no” vote opposes amending the state constitution, thereby maintaining the existing language that authorizes a tax exemption for the spouse of a military member “killed in action,” according to ballotpedia.org

The measure would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize a total residence homestead property tax exemption for a surviving spouse of a member of the armed services “who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.” Currently, the constitution grants the exemption to the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services “who is killed in action.” The amended language would include service members who are killed or fatally injured during military training or other military duties.

The amendment would take effect on January 1, 2022 and applies only to a tax year beginning on or after that date.

Early voting for the Nov. 2, 2021 election for the eight propositions starts on October 18, 2021. The last day to register to vote for this election is Oct 4, 2021.

To vote, you must be registered to vote 30 days before the election. Pick up a voter registration card at Orange County Elections Department located at 123 S. 6th Street in Orange or download an application at https://www.co.orange.tx.us/media/Elections/2021/Voter%20Registration%20Application%202021.pdf

Not sure if you are registered? Check here: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do

In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing his or her sentence. Therefore, once you have completed the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), you would be eligible to register and vote in the state of Texas.

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com