While Texas voters grumble more about property taxes than the state's franchise tax on businesses, Gov. Rick Perry is focusing on the latter. His $1.6 billion, four-point plan includes cutting overall franchise tax rates by 5 percent. He’s also threatened to call a special session if “significant tax cuts” don’t reach his desk by the end of the session.Full Story
The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) is a non-profit organization of businesses and individuals interested in state and local fiscal policies in Texas.
The group, which is nonpartisan, tracks and lobbies on state fiscal policy and focuses on "the nexus between public fiscal policy and private business activity," according to its Web site. In addition to the advocacy wing ...
Besides boosting the economies of remote towns, the shale boom has big implications for the Texas economy and budget. Already, taxes on oil and gas production have soared above the comptroller’s estimates.Full Story
Two legislative committees are set to hold hearings on state programs designed to encourage businesses to invest here, about a week after a New York Times series brought increased attention to Texas' approach to such incentives.Full Story
The Supreme Court of Texas heard arguments Tuesday in a case challenging the constitutionality of the state's primary business tax, a case that could have major implications for the way the state funds schools.Full Story
Voters clearly want good schools and nice roads and low taxes. It's a political and policy question straight out of a business textbook: What's the right balance of price and quality?Full Story
Texas Republicans are playing with the old Milton Friedman line: There is no such thing as a free lunch.Full Story
The 2006 tax swap — lowering local school property taxes and creating a new business tax to make up the difference — is at the center of Texas' current budget troubles. The architects are still pointing fingers over what and whom to blame for the state's “structural deficit.”Full Story
Lawmakers and lobbyists continue to spar over the accuracy of a recent Legislative Budget Board analysis of the effect House Bill 1 could have on jobs in the state of Texas.Full Story
The fight over Amazon's taxes isn't just about the giant online retailer. State officials say Texas is losing $600 million annually on taxable items purchased online. And as they work to close a budget gap of up to $27 billion, they're chasing every penny.Full Story
Lawmakers are waiting for Comptroller Susan Combs to forecast exactly how much money the state will collect between now and August 2013 so they can write a two-year budget that spends no more than that. It's not exactly like opening the envelopes at the Oscars, but the Capitol community will be hanging on her every word. If history is a guide, her estimate of revenues will be closer to the bull's eye than the Legislature's estimate of spending. But this is a dark art; accuracy can be elusive.Full Story
If history is any guide, the Legislature will turn to accounting illusions to mask large portions of a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion. Trouble is, such trickery is a bet on the economy roaring back to life — and that's no sure thing.Full Story
Every candidate vying for a legislative seat knows what lies ahead in 2011: a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion, probably higher, and state agency cuts to save as much of that amount as possible. But new revenue is a possibility as well, even if lawmakers are expert at the old sleight of hand, employing creative accounting and semantic trickery to avoid stepping on that political third rail, the tax hike.Full Story
The stimulus money increased funding for education last session. But can the state keep it up next session without more federal money?Full Story