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State Budget & Taxation Task Force

The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute’s (TCCRI) State Budget and Taxation Task force has long advocated for and supported a responsible state budget that meets the state’s growing needs without raising taxes. The centerpiece of the Task Force’s proposals for more than a decade has been strengthening the state’s limitation on spending by tethering it to growth in population and inflation. The 87th Texas Legislature adopted and passed that proposal in the form of Senate Bill 1336 (Hancock, et al. | SP: Bonnen, et al.). Two years earlier, the 86th Texas Legislature passed another Task Force priority in the form of HJR 38 (Leach, et al | SP: Fallon), which led to adoption of a state constitutional amendment prohibiting a personal income tax in Texas. Notable successes of previous State Budget and Taxation Task Forces include a 25 percent reduction in the franchise tax that was enacted by the 84th Legislature, and balancing the 2012-13 state budget without raising taxes.

To ensure the ongoing fiscal strength of Texas, the 2023-24 TCCRI State Budget and Taxation Task Force recommends that the 88th Legislature enact a number of reforms.

 

The Report has been split into two parts. Part I of this Task Force Report will provide a brief overview of the state’s current fiscal condition and then discuss various “structural” reforms intended to achieve the following:  

 

  • Strengthen the State’s constitutional spending and “pay as you go” limits;  

  • Place limits on spending by local governments, subject to reasonable exceptions;  

  • Protect the Economic Stabilization Fund from being used for ongoing obligations;  

  • Measure the accuracy of fiscal notes used to estimate the financial impact of proposed legislation; and  

  • Make the budget process more transparent.  

 

Part II of the Task Force Report discusses various proposals to provide tax relief and better tax administration, including a repeal or phase-out the franchise tax, various property tax relief measures, and the state’s need to modernize its tax collection policies to address emerging business structures. 

You may read Part 1 of the Report here.

You may read Part 2 of the Report here.

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