Saturday, July 09, 2005

What Is Senator Steve Ogden Doing?!

Senator Ogden does not want a fiscal analysis done on the proposal the Senate will vote on tomorrow. As this article states, Senate won't see analysis:
When the Texas Senate considers a proposal Sunday to raise billions in state consumer and business taxes to cut local school property taxes, it will do so without an analysis showing its specific effect on poor, middle-income and wealthier Texans.
What possible reason could Sen. Ogden have for doing this? It's because every time they've tried to do this during the regular session and the special session the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) analysis always shows that the poor and middle class will pay more and the wealthy will pay less. Sen. Ogden is tired of this and has now deemed the analyses flawed:
On similar legislation debated this year, fiscal analyses called tax equity notes have shown only higher income families would get an overall tax break.

That conclusion didn't make sense to Sen. Steve Ogden, who as Senate Finance Committee chairman sponsored his chamber's tax bill. So as the person with the authority to request an analysis, he's not doing so.

"The tax equity note is not needed in order to fairly evaluate this bill. I also think the assumptions and the models of the tax equity note are fundamentally flawed," Ogden, R-Bryan, said Friday.
What evidence does he give that proves they are flawed? NONE. It's just his opinion. Don't worry though Scott McCown of the CPPP is on the case:
Call to Action on the Senate Tax Bill: Don’t Vote Without the Note!

On Sunday, the Senate is planning to vote on its version of the tax bill (CSHB 3) without a tax equity note. A tax equity note is an analysis by the Legislative Budget Board that shows the effect of proposed tax changes on businesses in different industries and families with different incomes. Since 1997, the law has provided for a tax equity note at the request of the chair of a committee considering a tax bill, and since 1997, neither the House nor the Senate has voted on a tax bill without a tax equity note. Of course, given the structure of the Senate tax bill, it will be regressive. But the Senate bill is probably better than the House bill. A tax equity note would tell us that, and tell us how much better. More important, it is bad government to pass tax bills without an official analysis of the effect of shifting taxes on different businesses and families. To read an op-ed about the importance of an equity note that we wrote during the regular session, go to http://www.cppp.org/research.php?aid=407.

There is no time for e-mails, letters, or visits. Pick up the phone and call the Lt. Governor at (512) 463-0001 and Chairman Ogden at (512) 463-0105 and leave a message—Don’t Vote Without the Note. They will know what you mean.
He also has a expose of an unconstitutional maneuver that Sen. Ogden is trying to use to get HB 3 turned into a referendum, CPPP Statement Regarding the Constitutionality of CSHB 3 (.PDF)


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