Tax Shift

Apparently some states are looking to improve their competitive standing by cutting taxes. The list of soon-to-be-friendlier states is missing one very important entry: Texas.

My friend Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, recently sent out this chart:
Click for full graphic


We see on the chart that that Louisiana, Kansas and Nebraska are moving to eliminate their income taxes. Wisconsin, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Indiana are proposing significant tax cuts.

Missing from Norquist’s list is the Lone Star State. Not because there is a lack of interest from Gov. Rick Perry — whose Texas Budget Compact calls for tax relief — or from legislation having been filed (several measures to eliminate the state’s business tax are languishing in House and Senate committees).

No, Texas isn’t listed perhaps because the legislative leadership seems more interested in spending money than in keeping the state economically competitive. Legislation tapping the rainy day fund for ill-defined, unprotected “water” infrastructure is on the fast-track.

Worse, we’ve seen two high-ranking leadership GOPers — State Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler and State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock of Killeen — come out in favor of RAISING taxes.

That’s a list of a whole different sort.

Texas has benefited in recent years through a combination of good decisions on our part, and bad decisions by the other states. As other states sober up, Texas cannot afford to become fiscally prodigal.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is president and 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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