You’ve read the estimates of the potential Texas budget shortfall for the next biennium, with numbers ranging from $11 billion (wishful thinking?) to $21 billion (crying wolf?). If the number is anywhere near the upper limit, you can expect legislators to start suggesting new ways to raise revenues, despite their pre-election rhetoric to the contrary.
We have already seen Sens. Ogden (R-Bryan) and Duncan (R-Lubbock) suggest a statewide property tax.
Sin taxes are also a big hit with legislators when they need to raise cash. The last time the state needed money smokers took the hit. Gambling interest are pushing for more legalized gambling, just to raise state revenue of course. Since it will require a constitutional amendment to authorize the sin before it can be taxed, taxes on more gambling won’t help the next budget.
What about the other sins? How about drinking sugared sodas? Evidently someone is suggesting a one cent per ounce tax on soda pop. How does $630 million in new state revenue sound? How does another twenty cents for your Dr. Pepper go down? Brad Watson of WFAA explains the possibilities.