In signing two pieces of legislation today, Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Legislature delivered on two elements of the sound fiscal agenda promoted by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and supported by thousands of voters and taxpayers.
The governor today announced he signed House Bill 3430 and House Bill 735. The first creates a searchable public database of all state agency expenditures, contracts and grants, shining historic sunlight on the way taxpayers dollars are spent. The second bill delivers on a decade-old promise to eliminate the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax, which was originally levied to wire specific public buildings for the internet and was to be abolished when its purpose had been fulfilled.
“Governor Perry has been a strong champion of greater sunlight in spending and for getting rid of taxes that simply aren’t needed. He and the legislature made good on the calls of support from the people of Texas,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
“The long-term significance of the spending transparency legislation cannot be overstated. Almost since the dawn of time, people have simply been told to foot the bill of government. Now, Gov. Perry and the legislature are going to give taxpayers the opportunity to review the charges. This will let real people see how their dollars are being spent, putting more eyes to the task of weeding out fraud, abuse and duplication.”
Sullivan noted that both concepts were strongly supported by Texas voters and taxpayers. This spring, TFR hosted two “tele-townhall” conference calls with several thousand Texans participating, in which these ideas were discussed. TFR also mailed nearly 80,000 households in key legislative districts, asking voters to contact their legislators in support of these items; thousands did so.
While HB 735 should have eliminated the TIF tax this year, taxpayers can look forward to just about 12 months in the future when one tax will come off their phone bill,â€ noted Sullivan. “These are two pieces of legislation the people of Texas can be proud to see take effect.”