I've never seen anything quite like it. The Texas House today turnedÂ a $2.5 billion tax cut (H.B. 2785) into a $4.4 billion spending increase!
Texans now know that too many legislators â€“ Republicans and Democrats â€“ are more interested in growing the size of government than they are in giving Texans the tax relief they need and deserve.
This is a dark day for taxpayers in Texas.
What had been a clean effort to give meaningful tax relief became a vehicle for Democrats and their Republican enablers (list below) to soak taxpayers. The legislation, as amended by the House, puts unions and special-interest politics ahead of hard-working Texans staggering under double-digit increases in their property tax bills.
The legislation was amended to require that before any new tax relief can go into effect, every public school teacher, counselor, librarian and nurse in the state would have to receive a $6,000 per-year raise. That represents almost $4.4 billion in additional spending every two years that taxpayers would be asked to carry, completely dwarfing the tax cut.
Texas teachers are paid above the national average when you rightly consider the cost of living. It costs much less to live even in Austin than it does in New York City, and it is far less expensive to live in Angleton, Waco and El Paso than in L.A.
This was a calculated effort by legislators to increase the size of government and stop property tax relief.
With the $2.5 billion tax cut, homeowners would have seen their property tax rate drop by 9 cents on $100 of valuation (for a $135 decrease for a $150,000 home). The cost of the $4.4 billion spending increase â€“ were it to be borne in property taxes â€“ would equate to an almost 15 cent increase for each Texanâ€™s property tax rate (a $225 increaseÂ for the same $150,000 home).
To pay for this with sales taxes would require Texas to have the highest sales tax in the nation.
The majority of the Texas House did nothing today other than put tax spenders and unions ahead of taxpayers. The majority of the Houseâ€™s legislators have shown a complete disregard for the needs of all Texans.
Liberal State Rep. Garnet Coleman was apparently speakingÂ for all of his fellow Democrats, and those Republicans listed here, on the House Floor during the debate. He was asked if he though taxpayers spent their money better than legislators could; and he responded that, no, he did not.Â
At least he has campaigned that way. The Republicans listed below have run on the brand of seeking to reduce taxes and lower the cost of government. With this vote, they have allÂ but broken faith with theÂ fiscal conservativesÂ in Texas. Hopefully they will find a way to make it right for Texas' taxpayers.
If Texas' taxpayers are going to get the reliefÂ we deserve, we have to get passed not so much the liberal Democrats, but their Republican facilitators.
Republicans? Maybe In Name
Drew Darby of San Angelo
Kirk England of Grand Prairie
Charlie Geren of Fort Worth
Tony Goolsby of Dallas
Tuffy Hamilton of Mauriceville
Patricia Harless of Spring
Fred Hill of Richardson
Delwin Jones of Lubbock
Ed Kuempel of Seguin
Thomas Latham of Mesquite
Tommy Merritt of Longview
Sid Miller of Stephenville
Todd Smith of Bedford
Burt Solomons of Carrollton
Do any of them represent you? Find out at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us
Their offices can be reached using the Capitol Switchboard, 512-463-4630.