Texas Lawmakers Mull Reducing Natural Gas Tax Break

In a Texas House Appropriations Committee hearing this morning, natural gas producers fought back against suggestions that a major tax exemption they receive be rolled back.

The committee is casting around for ways to plug the state's estimated $15 billion to $27 billion budget deficit. State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, is urging that a tax exemption begun in 1989 and made permanent in 2003 be made more "efficient," i.e. reduced. State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, has separately introduced a bill (not discussed at this hearing) to end the exemption, which slashes the amount of severance tax ...

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