Monday, March 06, 2006

TTRC In San Antonio Today

SAEN has the story, Taxpayers, put your 2 cents in Monday. The funny thing about this commission seems to be that all they appear to be able to do is fiddle with the same "solutions" the Lege tried last year, business tax and sales taxes.
The commission won't consider anything that would require a constitutional amendment or a vote by taxpayers, such as a state income tax, casino gambling or lotteries, Sharp said.

The commission plans to draw up a proposed bill for Perry by the end of this month. Perry is expected to call lawmakers into a 30-day special session on education funding reform in April.

After the San Antonio meeting, the commission will meet with taxpayers in Dallas and Houston, Sharp said.

In hearings held throughout the state so far, homeowners have expressed various levels of dissatisfaction with property taxes, Sharp said. But all regions share this: Economic development officials are insisting the state lower property taxes.

"We have spent an awful lot of time with businesses large and small," Sharp said. "We knew from the beginning we didn't want to produce something in a back room. I think that we've produced some options that I believe the vast majority of businesses will find far superior to what they've seen before."

Monday's hearing in the City Council chambers will allow people to speak for five minutes, on a first-come, first-served basis. They're likely to bring many perspectives.

Merton Johnson, 75, a retired college professor in San Antonio, has lived in Texas more than 25 years, but he has also lived in Colorado, New York, Wisconsin, Kansas and Illinois.

"All of them have better educational systems and social services than we do, and all of them have a state income tax," Johnson said. "There is a whole lot wrong with the system as it exists. We need to eliminate waste wherever we find it. We need to fund education and social services well by having an income tax."
The other things this commission has done is show that in the limited time that will be available to the Lege in the spring they will not be able to implement any long-term fix. It will be a quick fix. The other is that it's becoming more and more apparent that Texans will probably have to choose between two things in the future to fix the problem of public school financing in Texas. An income tax of casino gambling. One's a fair tax the other is a gimmick.

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