Texas House turns tax cut into spending increase

I've never seen anything quite like it. The Texas House today turned a $2.5 billion tax cut (H.B. 2785) into a $4.4 billion spending increase!
 
Texans now know that too many legislators – Republicans and Democrats – 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 – were it to be borne in property taxes – would equate to an almost 15 cent increase for each Texan’s property tax rate (a $225 increase 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 House’s legislators have shown a complete disregard for the needs of all Texans.
 
Liberal State Rep. Garnet Coleman was apparently speaking 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. 
 
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 all but broken faith with the fiscal conservatives in Texas. Hopefully they will find a way to make it right for Texas' taxpayers.

If Texas' taxpayers are going to get the relief we deserve, we have to get passed not so much the liberal Democrats, but their Republican facilitators.


Republicans? Maybe In Name
These legislators enabled liberals to erase your tax cut AND grow government…

Dennis Bonnen of Angleton

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.

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Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael is the CEO of Empower Texans. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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