That ticking sound from Austin

With just 10 days left in the legislative session, time is running out. On the one hand, that is a good thing – less time for bad things to get done. On the other, it’s less time for good things to be accomplished. Either way, the clock is ticking. Here are some important items pending in the Senate…

Senator, Kill This Tax
In the 1990s, the Texas Legislature established the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax, to pay for specific projects and to raise a specific amount of money. They was raised the projects completed, but the tax has remained on your phone bill. The Texas House on March 20 unanimously passed House Bill 735 to eliminate this tax. The Senate Finance Committee is finally going to give the bill a hearing this Saturday (tomorrow, at 8:00 a.m. if you happen to be Austin). Our message? Pass H.B. 735, and hang up on the out-dated TIF tax. Please call your state senator today.

Senator, Shine Some Sunlight
Also on Saturday, the Senate Finance Committee is going to consider H.B. 3430, historic legislation that will create a searchable public database of every state expenditure, grant and contract. This will shine unprecedented sunlight on government, allowing us weed out waste, fraud and abuse. Our message? Pass H.B. 3430, and let taxpayers see what we’re paying for. Make a call to your senator today!

Senator, Give Me Tax Relief
So far no hearing has been scheduled in the Senate on H.B. 2785. You’ll remember the bill; it was a $2.5 billion property tax cut that House Democrats and some of their Republican enablers turned into a $4.4 billion spending increase. Texans are facing double-digit increases in their property tax appraisals, and no one is seeing the tax relief we were promised last year. We need tax relief, not more spending. Considering the historic $14 billion surplus lawmakers started the session, the state can afford to give us our money back. So we need the Senate to remove the spending increase and simply provide all Texans with this much-needed tax relief. Our message? Restore the H.B. 2785 property tax cut, and show Texans you are serious about tax relief. Let your senator hear from you now!

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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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