I’ve a perfect example for you of how even a vociferous conservative can find himself supporting a tax increase, get it through the Legislature, and get away with few ever knowing.
Let’s take Leo Berman, firebrand conservative state rep. from House District 6 in Tyler, as the example. A story in the Tyler Morning Telegraph details how Mr. Berman, along with Senator Eltife, plans to introduce legislation for no other purpose than allowing a tax increase.
“The City Council voted to approve a resolution supporting the passage of state legislation that will amend the Texas Tax Code, which generally authorizes a hotel occupancy tax not to exceed 7 percent of the price paid for a room in a hotel. An amended state code would allow Tyler to raise the local tax rate to 9 percent,” the story reported.
It went on to report that “State Sen. Kevin Eltife and state Rep. Leo Berman will introduce bills during this legislative session to amend the state code. If the legislation passes this session, the 2 percent hike would go into effect in September.”
Not surprisingly we learn that the local and state hotel associations are for it. They’ve never had much problem passing on taxes and fees to their customers as long as everyone else has to do it.
I don’t know if the Berman and Eltife bills will be written just to cover Tyler, or the whole state. But, if just for Tyler the bills will get little review and an almost automatic vote of approval through being on the Local and Consent Calendar in the Legislature.
Do what you want Messrs. Berman and Eltife but, please don’t claim you are not tax raisers when you’re so willing to help local government dig further into our pockets.
Follow-up: It was good to read the Mr. Berman is not supporting this as was reported in the Tyler newspaper. https://www.empowertexans.com/Issues/Early_Legislative_Snapshot
In case someone believes I misreported this, here is the Tyler Morning Telegraph story which reads, in-part “State Sen. Kevin Eltife and state Rep. Leo Berman will introduce bills during this legislative session to amend the state code. If the legislation passes this session, the 2 percent hike would go into effect in September.”
Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com
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