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Possible Monday Committee Vote Could End Senate v. House Standoff Over Tax Cuts

Ryan E. Poppe

A standoff between the Texas House and Senate could be nearing the end, as both sides seemed to agree to some leeway on their plans to cut taxes in 2015. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed that he was working with the two sides to help reach some kind of compromise.

It’s been quite a bit of back and forth for the competing House and Senate plans over the past two months. Part of the Senate’s original plan called for cutting a portion of the state’s property taxes, something the House didn’t initially agree with. In the House, the Senate had taken issue with their plan to cut a portion of the state’s sales tax.  
And when those talks hit a stalemate, Gov. Abbott stepped in to help facilitate an agreement.
“We are working on that actively as we speak. And we are hopeful that we will reach a resolution very quickly. I think that talks have become very productive and we are hopeful we will reach a resolution in the next 24 hours,” Abbott said optimistically.
Abbott said the most important thing on his plate right now was solidifying a state budget and locking down an agreement on which tax plan got sent to his desk.

At a separate event at the governor’s mansion, Abbott was asked whether he thought the Senate’s plan would have a lasting impact for homeowners.

Credit Ryan E. Poppe
Governor Greg Abbott visiting with key finance leaders on the Senate floor.

“I think the taxpayers of the state, I mean the property owners of the state, are frustrated with the property taxes. And this is a way to reduce the burden on property owners in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.

Reducing property taxes is one of the agenda items the governor urged lawmakers pass this session, during his State of the State address in January. But what that agreement looks like has yet to be revealed.  

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dennis Bonnen said this was a sensitive time. He confirmed the two sides had reached a tentative deal, but would not divulge the details of that plan for fear that it would jeopardize their negotiations before they held a committee hearing vote, scheduled for Monday.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.