PICTURED: Jim Wells County Commissioners discussed the canvassing during a special meeting Wednesday morning. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

The voters of Jim Wells County overwhelmingly approved to give Texas' elderly and disabled residents a reduction in their school property taxes this year as a proposed constitutional amendment on the county ballot garnered much support.

County officials canvassed the votes Wednesday morning.

Although the number in favor of the proposed amendment was much greater than those opposed, voter turnout for the county election was low, with only six percent of registered voters going to the poll this year.

Election Administrator Pearlie Jo Valadez presented the state's canvassing report to the Commissioners Court, who certified the election numbers.

In JWC, 1,215 voters, or 84 percent voted in favor of the proposed amendment.

There were 236 voters who voted against the measure, equaling 16 percent of the voters.

Texas legislators previously approved a one third reduction in school property taxes for Texans, called House Bill 2, beginning in 2006. Elderly homeowners, 65 years or older, and the disabled are currently able to qualify for a school property tax freeze on their homestead residence.

Because of an oversight in the legislature, that particular group was not included in the property tax reductions.

The voter-approved amendment will include the elderly and disabled in those school property tax reductions.