[Updated below.]While taxpayers are eager for relief, crony-business interests are working to undermine the Texas Senate’s tax relief efforts. In votes that will test the new resolve of the conservative majority, senators will be choosing on Wednesday between establishment-insiders and their voters back home.
[side_text]Call your senator at 512-463-4630[/side_text]Senate Bills 1, 8 and SJR1 will offer significant relief and reform to both property taxes and the obnoxious tax burdening small businesses. All three measures are slated for consideration this Wednesday, but are being opposed by two insider groups: Texas Association of Business (TAB) and the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTRA).
Those two groups would rather see lawmakers spend money, rather than offer the substantive tax relief Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have promised.
Small businesses, on the other hand, are strongly supporting the relief efforts.
Will Newton, who heads the Texas chapter of the small business-oriented National Federation of Independent Businesses, told the Houston Chronicle that the big-business groups tend to not represent the interests of Texans.
“They represent Wall Street. They don’t represent necessarily the people that live and work here. They may not own homes here,” Newton is quoted as saying.
A poll earlier this year by the Texas Tribune found that a Texans are frustrated by property and business taxes.
A broad coalition of conservative organizations are also supporting senate efforts to reduce tax burdens. Signed on to the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition:
Americans for Prosperity – Texas
Americans for Tax Reform
Grassroots America – We the People
Institute for Policy Innovation
National Federation of Independent Businesses
Our America Initiative
National Taxpayers Union
R Street Institute
State Budget Solutions
Tea Party Caucus Legislative Advisory Committee
Texas Eagle Forum
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Young Conservatives of Texas
While there is already strong support for SB1, SB8 and SJR1 in the Senate, the opponents are lobbying hard to kill the measures. Texans wanting tax relief, or just wanting their voices heard, should call their senator before Wednesday morning.
UPDATE (3/23/2015): Joining conservative groups and the NFIB in supporting the Senate’s tax relief measure is the Texas Association of REALTORS.
Note: The original listed SB10, instead of SJR1. SB10 is a supported measure that will be voted on this Wednesday, but is not in the tax relief package.