April 24, 2006
Texas House begins debate on property tax reform
From the Austin American Statesman: The Texas House of Representatives this morning began debate on a proposed tax overhaul similar to one being pitched by Gov. Rick Perry. The House was expected to take a series of votes. They decided to postpone debate until this afternoon on House Bill 3, which would replace the corporate franchise tax with a new "margins" tax. Then they passed House Bill 2, which would lower property taxes by using money from a new business tax, a higher cigarette tax and a change in sales-tax reporting on used cars. After that, they took up House Bill 1, which would dip into the state surplus to cut property taxes. Critics are calling it the "get outta Dodge plan." The tax overhaul is contained in five separate bills that the House is debating today. Lawmakers are under a June 1 deadline from the Texas Supreme Court to change the way Texas pays for schools.