Key Texas House lawmaker wants 25 percent business tax cut

Exposing yet another rift in the Texas House and Senate’s tax cut plans, the House’s lead tax policy writer said in a videotaped interview that emerged Friday that he wants to cut the business franchise tax rate by 25 percent across-the-board.

The Senate has proposed a 15 percent rate reduction and also expanding the exemption to the tax to include 61,000 smaller businesses.

“I compliment the Senate,” state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, said in an interview taped last Thursday, the day after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a tax cut package that also reduces homeowner property taxes by more than $2 billion.

“We believe we can do a little bit better than that and cut it 25 percent,” Bonnen continued. “That’s the proposal we’re going to present in the Texas House.”

The chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee is expected to unveil a tax cut package next week that he has said will also include an across-the-board cut to the sales tax rate. He and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, traded jabs in televised interviews this week over the differences in their proposed tax cuts plans.

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation praised Bonnen’s plan in a statement released Friday.

“While we are in favor of putting the margin tax on a path to elimination for the biggest economic effect, this potential 25 percent cut in both rates is a huge step in the right direction,” said Talmadge Heflin, director of the foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy Director. The foundation also has promoted replacing the franchise tax with a much higher sales tax, a departure from Bonnen’s proposal.

 

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