What is Harvey Hilderbran’s plan to win over grassroots support in his bid for Comptroller? Brag about all the big business that supports him. Apparently he didn’t learn a lesson about perception after being mocked for trying to pass tax carve-outs for his big-business donor base this session.
That attempted tax carve-out came in Mr. Hilderban’s version of HB 500, a bill that was supposed to provide significant reductions of the burdensome gross margins tax. Instead of a broad-based tax relief for all business, Mr. Hilderbran dedicated his version of the bill towards tax breaks for his corporate friends and donors, like the San Antonio-based tech-firm RackSpace.
Appropriately, it was Rep. Hilderban’s primary opponent for Comptroller, Sen. Glenn Hegar (whom TFR has endorsed), who completely re-wrote the bill with a committee substitute that stripped out Hilderbran’s loopholes and replaced it with a broad-based reduction benefiting all businesses.
Of course, it’s important to remember, businesses aren’t the ones paying the gross margins tax. It’s the consumers who pay for it through additional fees or higher prices. The only winners in a complicated tax system are big businesses (like those supporting Hilderbran) that have more money to pay for compliance costs than their smaller competitors.
But his comical handling of HB 500 isn’t fazing your Straus-appointed Ways & Means Chairman from bragging about those big-business types lining up behind his campaign. After all, if he was willing to scratch their back as a legislator, what’s to say he won’t keep scratching in higher office?