About two weeks back we reported that Speaker Joe Straus opined “I think at some point you can’t cut your way to prosperity.” We wondered if that was a chink in the armor of the no new taxes mantra.
This week Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, remarked, "We've got to start having some honest conversations with our constituents about what it takes to run state government," and retiring Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) suggested a voter referendum on a business income tax. Williams stopped short of suggesting tax increases, but suggested almost doubling the vehicle registration fee.
On the other hand, John Otto (R-Dayton), House Appropriations Subcommittee Chair and Vice-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, suggested the Margin Tax needed revision, but he didn’t agree with Ogden that we needed a referendum: "I don't think we ought to use it [Margin Tax] for the fix for the shortfall.”
All were speaking at a meeting of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association as reported by Kate Alexander in the Austin American-Statesman. Sen. Ogden won’t have to worry about it but Williams and Otto are seeking re-election. Can Republicans hold such “honest conversations with our constituents “about the “shortfall” before an election?