At the Republican Party of Texas Convention in Houston last week, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility Executive Director Jeramy Kitchen met with Michael Quinn Sullivan for an interview, during which he outlined the organization’s three-pronged prosperity plan.
TFR’s Texas Prosperity Plan involves making cuts to the budget to allow for a zero-growth budget limiting the government’s power, banning taxpayer-funded lobbying, and cutting the property tax.
The first prong, a plan for abolishing property taxes, was popular among Republican delegates, as foam axes with the phrase “Ax the Tax” could be seen throughout the convention hall. “People are being priced out of their homes due to their appraisals on home values. The platform can influence lawmakers and make this happen,” said Kitchen.
During the March primary election, 85 percent of Republican voters agreed with the movement, though many had the same question: What would replace the property tax?
“The argument that we try to make is … if we have to fund government, we should do so in a fair way—not a way that’s based on a subjective appraisal, for instance, or a way that means I can never own my home. … To pay perpetual rent to a government that doesn’t necessarily support my values is immoral,” said Kitchen.
TFR’s solution is a “no-growth budget,” which analyzes every function of an entity, including needs and costs, and only funds those functions as necessary.
“We think we should stop all spending and force lawmakers to actually make cuts, which also helps with the elimination of the property tax, and we will be able to ensure prosperity,” said Kitchen.
This detail-oriented process is designed to lower costs and massive increases to the previous budget year over year.
Kitchen also expressed his desire to ban taxpayer-funded lobbying, which was a legislative priority last cycle. This practice involves political subdivisions spending taxpayer money for the purpose of lobbying the state Legislature at an estimated $16 million per year. Kitchen said TFR supports legislation to ban this “unethical and corrupt” practice.