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Government/Politics

Standing Firm, House Sends $4.7 Billion Tax Plan To Conference With Senate

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Ryan E. Poppe

Members of the Texas House remained firm that their plan for cutting taxes would benefit more businesses and Texas families, as compared to a similar plan passed by the Senate. Today, House members passed two tax reform measures authored by Angleton Republican Dennis Bonnen.  The first would cut the state’s sales tax rate by 0.3 percent.

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Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Angleton Republican Rep. Dennis Bonnen, author of HB 31 and HB 32

  Bonnen said unlike other tax reform plans, his bill had more longevity. “First and foremost, we would be using our tax dollars for a tax that we control. A sales tax can not be eroded by a local tax hike or rising appraisals, the only way a sales tax cut can be taken away is by this body,” he stressed.

Bonnen also said this plan would save the average Texas family an additional $172 dollars a year.  The other component of Bonnen’s tax reform plan would be to cut 25 percent from the state’s tax on small businesses. 

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Credit Ryan E. Poppe
San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

  This is also something that San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer said would decrease the available funding, especially in areas like public education and transportation. “So if you think we have enough money for our roads, vote for this bill. If you think we have enough money for our schools, vote for this bill. If you think our parks have the money they need, vote for this bill,” said Martinez Fischer.

Another San Antonian, the Republican Speaker of the House, Joe Straus, made it known that he publically approved the House’s tax reforms, even though his vote was not needed. He told the Secretary of the House, “Make sure you mark the Speaker down as a ‘yes’ during a preliminary floor vote.”

Both proposals passed in the House and now head to a conference committee, where members from the House and Senate will decide which chamber’s plan works best for Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott has not publically taken a position on whether he supports the Senate’s plan to cut property taxes or the House’s plan, which focuses on sales tax reforms.