State Question 758 is the first of two state questions having to deal with ad valorem, or property, taxes. This one deals primarily with how the value of property is assessed through what is called “fair cash value.” The text of the question as it will appear on the ballot is as follows:
This measure amends the State Constitution. It amends Section 8B of Article 10.
The measure deals with real property taxes also called ad valorem taxes. These taxes are based on several factors. One factor is the fair cash value of the property.
The measure changes the limits on increases in fair cash value. Now, increases are limited to 5% of fair cash value in any taxable year.
The measure changes the cap on increases to 3% for some property. The 3% cap would apply to homestead exempted property. The cap would also apply to agricultural land.
The measure also removes obsolete language.
Now this reduction only applies to property that is classified as agricultural or homestead property. This means that most other property is still subject to to the 5% rule. Why the distinction, one can only guess.
The reason I think that the question is worded as such is to appeal to rural voters and to pander to the interests of rural land owners. As such, this question is a pretty strong indicator of cronyism within the state legislature. While I am a supporter of lowered taxes, I would prefer that such tax reductions were across the board.
As such, if this tax reduction is not a universal reduction, I cannot support the question. The legislature needs to revisit this and apply it across the board for all land owners in order for it to be a good idea.
Vote “No” on SQ 758.