Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) told a local TV station, “The government doesn’t need to be taxing or collecting anymore money than is absolutely necessary. We can either find some place to spend that money or give it back to the tax payers and from my standpoint, it’s the taxpayers money. I’m for anything that will help homeowners and their tax burden. So we’ve got many ways to put that money in taxpayers hands, or maybe a combination of all of those.”

He’s right and so is the Beaumont Enterprise. They editorialized on May 11 in part: “As state candidates campaign for contests in November, voters should favor those who pledge to return some of the surplus to the source that generated it. This money didn’t fall from the skies. It was generated by hard-working Texans. Right now, at least, it is more money than state government needs to operate.” The whole piece is at:

You can be sure that there will be many special interests lining up to make pitches for tapping into the surplus. That’s why it is so important for legislators, opinion leaders, and ordinary citizens to throw down the gauntlet from now through May of next year so that lawmakers know the overpayment of taxes must be refunded to its rightful owners.