State Budget and Taxation Task Force

Objective: TCCRI’s State Budget and Taxation Task Force will lay the groundwork for additional tax relief and reform, including:

1. Making the case that continued tax reductions and controlling the growth of spending are the key to continued economic prosperity.

2. Developing a proposal for a conservative state budget for the 2020-21 biennium that includes continued tax relief while also meeting the state’s core responsibilities.

3. Long-term systemic reforms such as a review of the state’s constitutional spending limit, public sector workforce reforms, and changes to the use of Economic Stabilization (Rainy Day) Fund, among other possibilities.

Topics: Franchise tax, property taxes, stricter income tax prohibition, the state budget, the Economic Stabilization Fund, the constitutional spending limit, and economic incentive programs.

Overview: Notable successes of previous State Budget and Taxation Task Forces include the 25 percent reduction in the franchise tax that was enacted by the 84th Legislature, as well as balancing the 2012-13 state budget without raising taxes. The 2017-18 State Budget and Taxation Task Force will build on these successes by continuing to advocate for reduction and elimination of the franchise tax, as well as other reforms to bring relief to property tax payers. The Task Force will also develop proposals related to a stricter constitutional prohibition against the imposition of an income tax, a stronger constitutional or statutory spending limit, narrowing the permissible uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund, and reforming the state’s economic incentive programs.

Ensuring that continued tax relief is possible requires a clear and convincing demonstration that this is achievable while also meeting the state’s obligations in areas such as public education, health care, and transportation infrastructure. To that end, the Task Force will develop a blueprint for a conservative budget that illustrates both the capacity for tax relief and funding of the state’s core responsibilities. As part of this process, the Task Force will initiate discussions of the relative cost-benefit of programs ostensibly serving the same purpose (e.g. economic development) to see if state funds can be reallocated for better effect and which align with conservative principles and values.