Update May 7: The GOP’s bill to increase taxes is dead for the session. State Rep. Chris Turner, a leading Democrat in the legislature, said following the bill’s death, “Texans want real solutions to lower their property taxes and fund public education, not a trickle-down plan that benefits a privileged few.”
That’s not a headline you read everyday in Texas.
During a press conference on Monday morning, Texas Democrats condemned House Joint Resolution 3, a Republican bill that aims to increase the state’s sales tax in order, they say, to provide relief for property taxes.
Working class Texans who would be most harmed by the increase in the state’s maximum sales tax, from 6.25 percent to 7.25 percent.
“If you’re making less than $100,000 in your household, you will lose,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a senior Democrat who led the news conference.
on Twitter, he wrote the bill is a “dangerous tax hike” that “would raise taxes on 4/5 Texas families while leaving open $43 billion in tax loopholes (primarily for big corporations).”
The joint resolution would use the revenue from the tax hike to reduce school property taxes, but Democrats, citing an estimate by the state’s own nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board, say only wealthier Texans will end up paying fewer taxes overall.
According to that estimate, households earning less than $99,619 would pay $171 million more in taxes overall. Households earning above that income would pay $424 million less.
Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen startled even members of their own party by proposing a one cent increase in the state’s sales tax.
With just nine seats needed for Democrats to take control of the Texas House next year, and 20 or more potentially vulnerable Republican members sweating possible primary and general election opponents.
The Texas Senate is expected to vote on the joint resolution on Monday followed by the House on Tuesday.