ECONOMY

Analysis: The Tax That Consumers Are Ignoring

When an out-of-state retailer doesn't add Texas sales and use taxes to your bill, it's not because no taxes are owed — and it's not because the retailer is doing something illegal. Texas consumers fail to pay almost $1.8 billion annually.
When an out-of-state retailer doesn't add Texas sales and use taxes to your bill, it's not because no taxes are owed — and it's not because the retailer is doing something illegal. Texas consumers fail to pay almost $1.8 billion annually.

When an out-of-state retailer doesn't add Texas sales and use taxes to your bill, it's not because no taxes are owed — and it's not because the retailer is doing something illegal. Texas consumers fail to pay almost $1.8 billion annually.

Tighter Spending Cap May Keep Billions Out of Budget

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (right) and House Speaker Joe Straus listened to testimony on the cost of the continuing border surge during the Legislative Budget Board hearing's on Dec.1, 2014.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (right) and House Speaker Joe Straus listened to testimony on the cost of the continuing border surge during the Legislative Budget Board hearing's on Dec.1, 2014.

Depending on your political leanings, the spending cap state lawmakers set this week was either too low, too high or just right. Regardless, the arcane measure could effectively block lawmakers from accessing billions of dollars in state revenue.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. This story was produced in collaboration with The World.

Analysis: Getting Legislative Permission to Do Business

A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker had considered Texas for its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. The company is also hoping to sell cars in Texas but does not have required franchise dealerships, as state law requires.
A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker had considered Texas for its $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. The company is also hoping to sell cars in Texas but does not have required franchise dealerships, as state law requires.

When lawmakers are not working on all of the things you hear about — budgets, education, immigration and so on — they are often refereeing fights between businesses. And some of next year's battles are already shaping up.