For those Texans who support the principles of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom, the 78th Legislative session in Texas was a success. Those principles were reflected in much of the legislation this session. Thanks to the legislative leadership and citizens willing to defend our economic liberty, a $9.9 billion budget shortfall was met with spending cuts and no new taxes were passed.
The following are some of the highlights of the legislative session:
No Tax Increases
In the wake of a budget shortfall, Texas CSE’s central concern was that legislators would try and solve the state’s financial woes with tax increases instead of responsible fiscal constraint. Texas CSE stood firmly against any tax increases and supported legislation to ease the tax burden on hard-working Texas families.
Texas CSE supported the following legislation:HB 1 passed: The $116 billion state budget which for the first time in over 20 years reduced the size and scope of government.HB 2292 by Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth passed: streamlined health and human services and is designed to reduce fraud and abuse of the system, realizing savings of one-quarter billion dollars for taxpayers! HB133 / HJR15 by Rep. Carl Isett “Reining in State Spending” did not get to the floor of the House: to limit the growth of appropriations in a biennium to not exceed the estimated rate of growth of total personal income in the state.SB 392 by Sen. Steve Ogden and Sen. Tommy Williams “Truth in Taxation” passed: relates to Texas utility districts that levy property taxes in the state, and provides for safeguards for the taxpayers requiring them to notify taxpayers in advance of proposed tax rate increases.
Texas CSE helped kill legislation that would have used tax dollars to unfairly subsidize public entities:HB 262 by Rep. Steve Wolens: this bill was called by the Mayor of Dallas “the most important legislation to the City of Dallas” but would have allowed several large municipalities to use hotel occupancy taxes to guarantee bonds to finance convention center hotels and other public facilities (golf courses, parking garages, restaurants.) It would have been the ultimate irony to have private enterprise taxed to pay for public-funded ventures. Texas CSE had a study done which found that there would be no benefit to the City and significant loss to existing hotels had that legislation passed.