Tax Hike Protections - Texas Scorecard

Here’s another California vs. Texas comparison: One state requires a 2/3 majority of both legislative chambers to pass a tax increase, and one state attempted to create the same type of taxpayer protection, but couldn’t even get it to the floor for a vote. Sadly, it’s California on the right side of this one.

RedState.com recently featured a post explaining how California’s decision to impose its own version of the “Amazon Tax” could be in violation of their constitution on the basis that Proposition 26 (passed in 2010) requires tax hikes to pass with a 2/3 majority in both chambers.

Without getting into the weeds of why the “Amazon Tax” is a bad idea (you can read our take on Texas’ version here), try to take a step back and look at what’s wrong with this picture.

Texas, the economic leader of the nation that takes pride in its low taxes and less regulation, couldn’t even get a simple taxpayer protection bill a vote on the floor of either chamber, despite having a super-majority of Republicans. The furthest a bill requiring 2/3 majorities for tax hikes made it this session was SJR 12 by Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston). The bill made it out of committee and onto the Senate Intent Calendar, but it was never taken up and considered by the Senate as a whole.

If we can’t get such common-sense protections passed for taxpayers with a super-majority, how do we ever expect to get it passed?

Some will say that Texas doesn’t need such protections because we are a conservative state that’s unlikely to desire higher taxes in the first place. But even in conservative Texas, tax hikes are always a possibility. Just look at how close we came to a 125% hike in the gas tax last session.

Texas has been beating California and the rest of the nation in economic growth and job creation because of our low taxes, so why not do what we can to keep it that way?

Dustin Matocha is the Social Media Coordinator of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsiblity.

Connect with Dustin on Twitter.