Lt. Gov. Patrick & Speaker Phelan are both right & wrong on tax relief, we need items from both plans – Pratt on Texas 3/3/2023

The news of Texas covered today includes:

Our Lone Star story of the day: Lieutenant Governor Patrick and House Speaker Phelan are being nasty to each other over each body’s tax relief package, as I predicted in early January, but they are both wrong.

We need to dedicate more of the revenue surplus and keep the major items proposed by the House and the Senate: A serious raise of the homestead exemption (the Senate plan) and add to it an indexing to real estate inflation. And, a lowering of the annual appraised value caps for taxing purposes to cover all property, not just homesteads (the House plan.) But the House plan needs more appraisal and local taxing reform so that we do not push the issue back in the direction of local officials claiming taxes went up, not because they set a tax rate above the No New Revenue Rate, but because appraisal values increased.

The key to doing both, or some of both, is keep spending in line with inflation and population growth and using much more of the surplus to implement a true “largest” tax break in Texas history.

One basic note to keep in mind: Lowering appraised value caps does not stop local governments from raising taxes just as much as they did before the cap changes. They can set the tax rate at whatever they want to bring in as much money as they want. The caps provide a form of political protection in that it makes it a bit harder for them to sell big local tax hikes as them making “no change in the tax rate” when such a rate is actually a huge increase because of increased valuations. Learn more with these resources.

Our Lone Star story of the day is sponsored by Allied Compliance Services providing the best service in DOT, business and personal drug and alcohol testing since 1995.

Oil and gas rig count falls.

An example out of Austin of what happens when a Speaker of the House appoints Democrats as committee chairmen, as has Speaker Phelan. It leads to the very type of D.C. Leftism Phelan, and others, claim his brand of bi-partisanship avoids: A Democrat committee chair in the Republican-controlled Texas House is trying to implement a “woke” speech code for members of her committee.

Two Second Amendment stories today involving Texas:

And, other news of Texas.

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