State Taxation & Revenue Task Force
While Texas’ tax climate is unquestionably one of the strongest in the nation, it is also indisputable that the 2006 property tax relief reductions have failed to provide the lasting property tax relief that was envisaged, while the revised franchise tax has not performed as projected. At the same time, school district property taxes and the state sales tax have numerous exemptions and exceptions totaling multi-billion dollar amounts in the aggregate. Similarly, the revised franchise tax is complex, burdensome, and costly. During the 2011 legislative session, property tax abatements that are available under Chapter 313 of the Tax Code came under legislative scrutiny, as did the high cost gas exemption, while efforts to repeal or scale back the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund – both of which provide financial subsidies to private corporations – were ultimately unsuccessful.
The State Taxation & Revenue Task Force will review the state’s current tax structure, including the school district property tax, the state sales and use tax, and the franchise tax, as well as the exemptions and exclusions from those taxes. The Task Force will also address the perceived “structural deficit” and will develop a principled conservative position on issues such as the Enterprise Fund, the Emerging Technology Fund, and the Economic Stabilization Fund. Conservatives generally acknowledge that low tax rates with a broad base of taxpayers are the fairest form of taxation: it is time for Texas to truly put that principle into action.