State Legislature Filing Bills

Written by Larry Crippen. Posted in Local News, News

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State Legislature Filing Bills

Published on November 20, 2014 by Larry Crippen

Bill filing for the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature began in earnest with 443 bills filed by week’s end well exceeding the 309 bills filed during the same time in 2012. With state revenues blowing past the official estimates by outgoing Comptroller Susan Combs, tax relief figures large in the measures filed to date.

Already, nearly two dozen proposals addressing various aspects of the property tax system have been introduced. They include constitutional amendments to increase the homestead exemption and lower the appraisal cap on residential property. Because property taxes are levied by local jurisdictions, not the state, any reduction in property tax revenue will hit schools, parks, streets and other core government services that most people rely upon.

The state’s main business tax continues to be the least popular levy, already attracting five bills that would repeal the tax in its entirety.  Our local state senator, Charles Schwertner, has filed SB 134 which would increase the small business exemption from the current $1 million to $5 million, exempting 80,000 business from the tax. If successful, only 60,000 of the state’s one million liability protected entities would pay the tax, according to the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association.

Transportation-related taxes also garnered a good bit of attention during the first week of bill-filing, with most focusing on ending diversions than increasing taxes or revenues.

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