Website now includes tax record of opponents Dewhurst, Staples and Patterson
AUSTIN – The “Talk is Cheap Texas” website began with an in-depth review of the Lt. Governor candidates’ record on illegal immigration. Among the highlights were votes made in favor of in-state tuition, preventative health care and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. The website has been updated to include votes on the issue of taxes.
Recently, Texas was ousted from the top 10 in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index. “Texas has stepped back from being a leader in the nation on business taxes due to the lack of leadership on lowering property and franchise taxes,” said Dan Patrick. “I have worked very hard to achieve property tax relief and reduce franchise tax burdens,” said Patrick, “but most of my efforts have failed without support from leadership.”
Since joining the Texas Senate in 2007, Senator Dan Patrick has filed countless bills on reducing or reforming the state franchise taxes. He was successful in passing the small business franchise tax exemption in 2009. This exemption was finally made permanent in 2013. Property taxes have been a major focus of Senator Dan Patrick as well. Senator Patrick has pushed legislation to establish caps on property appraisal increases as well as revenue caps on local government but nothing has survived the two-thirds rule.
“Texas voters need a Lt. Governor who is going to show up and push for tax relief to property owners while ensuring our low business tax burden makes Texas the envy of the world,” said Patrick.
Among the data points on “TalkisCheapTexas.com” are David Dewhurst’s support for a payroll tax in 2005 and Todd Staples’ vote in support of an income tax in 1995. Jerry Patterson is noted as being absent on the day the Senate passed a payroll tax bill out of the Senate. As a result, he was scored negatively by conservative groups who opposed the measure.
Taxes White Paper
David Dewhurst supported a payroll tax. In 2005, Dewhurst supported creating a payroll tax on Texas employers (“Senate Passes School Finance Package,” Lt. Governor’s Office, 05/12/2005). The payroll tax was incorporated into House Bill 3 (79-R). The bill expanded the franchise tax to include all businesses except sole partnerships, limited partnerships and trusts, and it created a payroll tax option.
The Wall Street Journal called it an income tax. The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial criticizing Dewhurst’s proposal for a wage tax, which the Journal described as an income tax. (“Deep in the heart of taxes,” Wall Street Journal, 05/10/2005).
Dewhurst tried to create a payroll tax during the special session. During the first special session in 2005 (79-1), the Senate again proposed a payroll tax (HB 3); this time creating a 4.25 percent tax on a business’ net income and payroll (Janet Elliott, “Perry says Senate’s plan will not pass,” Houston Chronicle, 07/09/2005).
Todd Staples voted to expand the franchise tax. In 1997, Todd Staples voted for House Bill 4 (75-R: RV 244), which expanded the franchise tax to partnerships, professional associations and business trusts. The Texas Conservative Report called the tax a corporate income tax (1997 Texas Conservative Report). Young Conservatives of Texas called the bill a tax increase that shifted the tax burden from one group of taxpayers to another (Young Conservatives of Texas, Ratings of the 75th Texas Legislature, 1997).
Todd Staples supported a payroll tax on Texas businesses. In 2005, Todd Staples supported House Bill 3 (79-R) which further expanded the franchise tax and created a payroll tax. The Wall Street Journal called it a personal income tax that would slow growth in the state (“Deep in the heart of taxes,” Wall Street Journal, 05/10/2005).
Jerry Patterson was absent for franchise tax expansion vote. While House Bill 4 (75-R) – the franchise tax expansion bill – was being considered in the Texas Senate, Jerry Patterson was absent. House Bill 4 expanded the franchise tax to partnerships, professional associations and business trusts. The Texas Conservative Report called the tax a corporate income tax and gave Patterson a negative score based on his absence (1997 Texas Conservative Report).
Dan Patrick authored legislation to phase out and repeal the franchise tax. In 2013, Dan Patrick authored Senate Bill 179 (83-R) to phase out and ultimately repeal the franchise tax by 2017. Repealing the franchise tax reduces the burden on Texas businesses.
Dan Patrick sponsored legislation to increase the franchise tax exemption. In 2009, Dan Patrick sponsored House Bill 4765 (81-R) to increase the franchise tax exemption to $1 million. This exemption brought relief to Texas small businesses which are the backbone of the Texas economy.
Dan Patrick has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Empower Texans endorsed Sen. Patrick’s campaign for Lt. Governor in October 2013. Michael Quinn Sullivan said:
“In Dan Patrick, Texans will have a proven taxpayer champion who has established a clear record of working to advance the conservative fiscal policies that protect taxpayers and enhance prosperity in the Lone Star State.”
Dan Patrick will continue to champion lower taxes for all Texans.