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Can Texas Afford A Tax Cut?

David Martin Davies
TPR News

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is set on delivering tax cuts in this legislative session. He made that point clear while speaking to reporters about his priorities for the 84th Legislature.

The Texas Senate has delivered a proposed budget on Tuesday that includes $4 billion dollars in tax relief – including 3 billion dollars in property tax cuts and 1 billion for cuts to the business franchise tax.

However, Tax Cuts are not in the proposed budget in the Texas House. And that will have to reconciled.

And Dick Lavine senior fiscal analyst at the Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities says the tax cuts are not prudent given the uncertainty of the Texas economy and the impact of previous budget cuts.

"It's a ratchet, sort of a one way street. You can always cut taxes and cut services, that part is easy. It's getting them back is the hard part. And that's why a more prudent approach would be, if we find ourselves with actually $7.5 billion cash on hand expected at the end of the current fiscal year, hang on to that money. Or use that money to catch up on deferred maintenance. And we all know that our roads and our bridges have been neglected for too long and are getting overcrowded and dangerous. And that's true with a lot of our public services." - Dick Lavine, Center for Public Policy Priorities  

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi