The objective of the Economic Freedom Task Force is to reduce the burden that government places on the private sector economy by cutting and reforming taxes and repealing unnecessary regulations and restrictions on the free market.
Maintaining a free market is a central tenet of conservatism, which rests on the belief that individuals and businesses in the marketplace are better-able to make beneficial, rational decisions than are centralized government bureaucrats. Texas has built one of the strongest economies in the nation based largely on relatively low taxation and generally limited government interference in the private sector economy.
However, despite this record of achievement, there is still much work to be done to interject further competition and free enterprise into the electric and insurance markets in particular. The Task Force will review how to increase economic freedom across the board, focusing on the retail sector, financial services, and other areas where the state intrudes unnecessarily in the private economy.
Alongside deregulation, the Economic Freedom Task Force will also build on the work of the 2012-13 State Taxation and Revenue Task Force. That Task Force reviewed 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 recommended repealing or significantly reducing the franchise tax, while arguing for a shift from property taxes to consumption taxes to fund public schools.
The Economic Freedom Task Force will continue to develop these policy proposals while also reviewing tax incentive programs such as the Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology 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 more meaningfully put that principle into action.