Friday, May 1, 2009

Secretary of State: “Homestead Exemption Tax Amendment” e-mails are fake

The Austin American-Statesman Newspaper - Austin, Texas
By Patrick George | Friday, April 24, 2009, 04:49 PM

Officials at the Office of the Secretary of State say e-mails circulating about a Homestead Exemption Tax Amendment are fake.

The e-mail in question says voters must choose whether or not to keep the homestead tax cap for people 65 and older. [Texas Secretary of State] Spokeswoman Ashley Burton said that the e-mails are completely false and that there are no statewide initiatives on the ballot for the May 9, 2009 election.

“There are only local elections,” Burton said. She said some variations on the e-mail have been floating around the Internet. Below is [one version of the] fake message:

Please pass the word and VOTE for the following constitutional amendment. Early voting: April 30 - May 5 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; May 6 from noon to 6 p.m. May 7 & May 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day: May 12 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Texas Homestead Exemption Tax Amendment Please read and pass on to all your Texas email friends as this applies to all voters. You must vote in May to keep the Homestead tax cap for 65 and over, even if you are not 65 yet. If you are a Texas homeowner then this is important to you. If not, it is important to your friends who are. I am sending this email to everyone on my email address list that lives in Texas. I want to be sure you are aware of a constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot at the May election. It is an amendment to correct an error made by the lawmakers when they voted for a reduction in school property taxes in 2005. When the lawmakers voted for a 1/3 reduction in school property taxes beginning in 2006 and to be completed this year, they forgot about the homestead exemption for senior citizens and people with disabilities. The state constitution caps school property taxes for homeowners 65 years and older and those who are disabled. However, they DID NOT get the same reduction when the property tax cut for schools was voted on two years ago. So an amendment is on the May ballot to correct this error. The problem is that most voters who are younger than 65 or not disabled probably won’t even notice the amendment or care. PLEASE get out and vote for this amendment if not for yourself, then for your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. We would really appreciate your getting the word out to all your friends and families to vote for this amendment. The fear is that with a low voter turnout, the amendment could very well not pass.
Click Here For May 9, 2009 Municipal Election Early Voting Locations & Times

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