It seems everyone agrees Texas should cut taxes. There is a huge budget surplus; politicians campaigned and won on the tax cut platform; everyone but a few reluctant souls who want to be sure we can pay for roads, education and water are on the bandwagon. They may all be on the bandwagon, but they are not necessarily playing the same tune. The Senate has a view, the House a different approach, big business objects to what’s on the table, small business likes it and so on.
The Senate wants to cut property taxes for homeowners (SB 1) and franchise taxes for business (SB 7 and SB 8); all three bills passed the Senate on Wednesday. Ways and Means Chairman in the House says the Senate property tax cut is so small it won’t be noticed by property tax payers and talks about cutting sales taxes. Big business says the Senate proposals threaten our business friendly environment and shift more of the already heavy business tax burden to them. Small business says big business can afford it. The voiceless individual property tax payers would say, if they could, “what about me?”
Big business wrote a complaint letter to Lt. Gov. Patrick and sent copies to all legislators. Sen. Schwertner, author of SB 8, which benefits small business, wrote back chastising big business’ selfish perspective. NFIB and the Texas Association of Realtors say they support the Senate bills. If you want to know more about the growing controversy, check out Tax Cut Package Triggering Debate in the Texas Tribune.