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    Gov. Perry supports Bush tax proposals

    BY Jeffrey Norton
    04/12/2001
    by Jeffrey Norton on 4/12/01.

    Gov. Rick Perry expressed support Wednesday for President George W. Bush's proposed tax cut, urging the U.S. Congress to support the measure and to stop "over-charging" Americans.

    The majority of the Bush's 10-year $ 1.6 trillion tax cut would come from income tax reductions, repeal of the estate tax and the marriage tax and doubling the $ 500 per child tax credit.

    "Either Americans will get a rebate after being overcharged for so long, or the money will stay in Washington," said Perry, who helped get then-Gov. Bush's $ 1.85 billion state tax cut through the Texas Legislature in 1999.

    According to statistics released by Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group "dedicated to free markets and limited government" according to their Web site, a teacher with one child whose median salary is $ 35,350 would save $ 1,100 a year under the Bush plan.

    However, some are concerned that Bush's cut wouldn't allow the government to spend an adequate amount on necessary programs such as education. Texas, for instance, would lose $ 300 million annually if the federal estate tax, or the tax the government collects upon one's death proportionate to his or her assets or liabilities, were done away with as called for in the Bush tax plan. The estate tax currently goes into the general portion of the state budget for lawmakers to spend on areas of their choice.

    "You need to do away with the [Federal Estate Tax]," Perry said, adding that the government should not profit from a person's death.

    While Perry supports the elimination of the Federal Estate Tax, he admitted that he has not looked closely at the money Texas would lose.

    "The economy is in a state of flux right now, and it isn't the right time to start analyzing every penny," Perry said.

    Perry called questions about possible tax increases in Texas that could result if the state is over-stressed from the loss of revenue premature.

    While supporters praise the tax cut, critics, like U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, voice concerns that it will aid those who need it least.

    "It's real purpose is to stimulate the financial statements of the wealthiest taxpayers who get a bonanza of benefits, while the average taxpaying family gets a daily benefit this year of less than the cost of a cup of coffee," Doggett said in a statement.

    But Doggett added that the tax cut could adversely affect essential government programs.

    "I support fair tax cuts as great as fiscal sanctity will permit but not at the expense of our children's educational future or our parents' Social Security or Medicare," Doggett said.

    (C) 2001 Daily Texan via U-WIRE