It's a long time until the November general election and normally you wouldn't be hearing much about the State Comptroller's race so early in the game. But the press picked up on one candidates claim that the other candidate favors a 25% sales tax. Is that true? Well, sorta.
The Republican candidate, Sen. Glenn Hegar, did say he favored eliminating the property tax and replacing it with a consumption tax in a speech in February. He's been known to make the suggestion before. In fact, I believe it's one of the Republican Party Platform planks, so you wouldn't think it is really news. But when the Democratic candidate, CPA Mike Collier, said to do so would require a state sales tax rate as high as 25%, the press decided it was newsworthy.
Evidently no one knows for sure how high the rate would have to be to replace the property tax, but there is no question it would have to be very high, much higher than the current 8.25% maximum state and local sales tax rate in most commuities.
The most interesting thing about the controversy is that the press coverage was prompted by Collier's continued press releases on the subject, including video's of Hegar's speech suggesting the tax swap. If a political novice can get the press to push his views, it saves a lot of campaign advertising dollars.