Texas Can’t Afford Permanent Tax Cuts

The House Ways & Means Committee heard testimony on HB 31 and HB 32, the bills that together make up the House tax cut plan. CPPP’s wonks provided live analysis on Twitter.

Over the course of yesterday’s hearing several witnesses (and wonks) made the same point. LeRoy Cavazos of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce stressed that while tax cuts might sound good in the short term, lawmakers should also take into account the long-term impacts on funding for education, health care, and transportation.

Eva DeLuna Castro pointed out that the proposed tax cuts would wipe out almost all the projected increase in revenue for the upcoming biennium. Even when the Texas economy grows, our revenue system wouldn’t be able to keep up.

This would be very bad news for public services already stretched thin by population growth and rising costs. Several witnesses and committee members questioned the wisdom of the proposed 25 percent rate cut to the franchise tax, 100 percent of which comes out of school funding.

All the talk of cutting the franchise tax also gave us a strange sense of déjà vu…

The decision to prioritize tax cuts over investments in our state comes with its own costs, and several witnesses who testified against the tax cuts pointed out that those costs will be borne by future generations.

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