BILL ANALYSIS H.J.R. 64 By: Hamric (Sponsor) Finance 05-10-95 Senate Committee Report (Unamended) BACKGROUND Current law limits a school district portion of ad valorem taxes for persons who are 65 or older for their residence homesteads. The total amount of school district taxes are limited to the amount in the first year of eligibility. The Texas Constitution provides that in the event of death, if the surviving spouse is at least 55 years old, the surviving spouse continues to qualify for the school district tax limitation. However, other taxing units that elect to offer an exemption to elderly people cannot exempt a surviving spouse that is over 55 years old. PURPOSE As proposed, H.J.R. 64 requires submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment exempting from ad valorem taxation the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of an elderly person. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 1-b, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, by adding Subsection (f), as follows: (f) Entitles the surviving spouse of a person who received an exemption under Subsection (b) of this section for the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older 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 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. Provides that a person who receives an exemption under Subsection (b) of this section is not entitled to an exemption under this subsection. Authorizes the legislature by general law to prescribe procedures for the administration of this subsection. SECTION 2. Requires this constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 7, 1995. Sets forth the required language for the ballot.