Last year the Texas House of Representatives voted on a measure that the widely respected Texas Public Policy Foundation described as a “granny tax.” State Representative-turned-congressional candidate Lance Gooden may not like the description, but he did vote for it.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility has not endorsed in the 5th Congressional District run-off election between Gooden and Bunni Pounds, but we also cannot allow candidates for public office to misrepresent their records.

In a recent mail piece sent to CD5 voters, supporters of Gooden claims he have never voted for a granny tax. Yet he did precisely that on May 10, 2017. House Bill 2766 placed an “assessment” (a tax) on hospital beds that would by necessity be passed on to nursing home residents. Why? Because the costs of taxes and fees imposed on business are always borne by people, and most especially customers.

As TPPF noted in their report titled “‘Granny Tax’ Overview”:

There are loopholes in the wording of HB 2766 that could allow facilities to pass the cost of the tax on to residents. Many would be forced to do so to keep their doors open.

Despite the warnings from conservatives across the state, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Gooden and a minority of House Republicans joined with Democrats in voting for the “Granny Tax.” Fortunately, the Texas Senate refused to even consider the measure and saved Texas seniors from seeing their nursing home expenses rise as a result.

Mail piece sent by Gooden’s campaign.

In the same mailer says it is “100% false” to claim Gooden opposed Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda. The record isn’t so clean on that count, either, for the Terrell politician.

Just this past summer, Gooden joined Democrats and the House leadership in voting to kill the spending limits measure favored by Gov. Abbott and the GOP platform. He also voted against studying the effects of eliminating the automatic deduction of union dues from government employees’ paychecks. (Gov. Abbott called for an outright elimination, but the House leadership Gooden supported refused to even allow a vote on that.)

Most egregiously, Gooden voted against the property tax reform language proposed by Gov. Abbott and passed out of the Texas Senate. Abbott and the Senate wanted to prevent property tax burdens from rising more than four percent without voter approval. When that proposal came before the House, Gooden and a minority of Republicans joined with House Democrats to stop it.

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and in political campaigns there are often plenty, but neither Gooden, nor anyone else for that matter, is entitled to their own facts.

NOTE: the mail piece was paid for by “Our Conservative Texas Future,” an Austin-based federal “Super PAC.” 

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."