Sunday, January 08, 2006

TTRC In Austin Tomorrow And A Few Other Things

With the hearing coming up tomorrow the Statesman has a few articles this weekend on the subject. The first article, By tackling taxes, this Democrat hopes to make a difference, is just pretty much a rehash of all the stories since Perry appointed Sharp. But I thought this paragraph was interesting:
"The vast majority of businesses that we talk to that are avoiding franchise taxes right now are sure taking the position with me, privately, that, 'Hey we know it's been a good ride for the last 10 or 15 years, but we also know it's over and we've got to participate, but we want everybody to participate (in paying the tax),' " Sharp said in an interview this week.
"The vast majority of businesses.." have been gaming the system for 10 to 15 years and now, NOW, they are willing to pay their share! After the public schools in this state have only Mississippi in their rear view mirror. How about making them pay restitution. Or how about making them do some kind of community service. I'm just me blowing off a little steam but doesn't it seem like there should be some kind of penalty? As an aside I thought this was interesting, John Sharp sure seems to be getting close to the Republican Party, now that he is going to participate in a roast of Karl Rove:
Among those expected to be putting the flame to Rove are Mary Matalin, the Republican operative who's married to Democratic strategist James Carville, and former state Comptroller John Sharp, a Democrat.

It could be payback time for Sharp. Recall that Rove was the architect of Bush's landslide re-election in 1998, and his coattails have been credited with helping Rick Perry eke out a victory over Sharp in the lieutenant governor's race. When Bush won the White House, Perry was elevated to the governor's office. And Sharp ... well, he wasn't.
The second article is about how limited the choices are for the legislature to get something done by June, Tax shift options limited by time. The title is right because they will not be lowering anyone's taxes. Well at least not the poor and middle class that's for sure.
Legalizing video lottery terminals, creating a statewide property tax or increasing the amount of a home's value that is exempt from school taxes all could be left out of recommendations from a committee studying the Texas tax structure.

Those changes and others that would require a public vote to change the Texas Constitution are likely to be off the table, said John Sharp, chairman of Gov. Rick Perry's Texas Tax Reform Commission. He said there would not be time to have the vote by June 1, the deadline by which the Texas Supreme Court says lawmakers must change the tax system.

"The staff is proceeding from a point of view that unless we hear differently, no solution can require some vote after June 1," Sharp said. "But we're confident we can solve this problem anyway."
I have a feeling that if the legislature thought it had a great plan that had public support and needed to go to a vote the court would give them the time to hold an election. Don't forget this comes down to the governor's leadership. If he doesn't come up with a plan it will cost him big time in November. But at this point it looks like a sales tax increase of some kind and an increased business taxes. Which means every time you buy something it will cost you more.


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