Proposition 4 bans state from imposing individual income tax
There are 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution on next month's ballot, and one of those is Proposition 4.
It would ban the state from imposing an individual state income tax, but there is some confusing language on what 'yes' or 'no' vote means in this case.
A 'yes' vote means supporting prohibiting a future state income tax. A 'no' vote would continue to allow the state to enact a tax on individuals in the future through a state referendum.
"In 1993, Texas voters decided on a constitutional amendment that required voters' permission for the creation of a state income tax, so Prop. 4 goes a step further," Abel Castro, chairman of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, said.
Texas is one of seven states that does not have a state income tax. Castro said not having this supports population growth and economic expansion.
"In that it brings other businesses to the state of Texas and other families to the state of Texas that want to take advantage of a state that doesn't impose an income tax, so there's big economic development that can come from it," Castro said.
Opponents argue the amendment is not necessary, as the constitution already stops the Legislature from imposing an income tax without a statewide referendum. They also say revenue from an income tax could reduce the tax burden on businesses.
Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry said this proposition would just raise the bar higher.
"Texas leads the nation in job growth, industry growth, sector growth, Fortune 500 growth," Perry said. "Evidently, what we've got is working, so to add another definitive layer that we will never impose a state income tax on an individual is, I think, just common sense."
Sen. Perry said there is no wrong answer. He encouraged voters to read up on all 10 amendments and vote in November.