February 28th, 2017
Strong conservative leadership has made Texas the economic envy of the nation. It has paved the way for a diversified economy that is less reliant on oil and gas production, helped create the nation’s largest “rainy day fund,” and made Texas the number one state for business for over a decade.
One of the reasons for that success is that lawmakers have created a regulatory and tax environment that makes it easier to do business here in the Lone Star State.
Conservative legislators here in Texas are always looking for ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary burdens on businesses and individual citizens. Last session, I led the effort to completely eliminate 8 overly burdensome taxes, creating greater efficiency and generating significant costs savings for taxpayers. I also worked closely with the Legislature to reduce franchise tax rates and provide homeowners with some much needed property tax relief.
The current session, while significantly tighter from a budgetary standpoint, will again shine a light on franchise and property taxes. In his recent State of the State address, Governor Abbott called on legislators to eliminate the franchise tax and continue to reign in property tax burdens on Texas homeowners, and conservatives in the Legislature have already filed a number of bills addressing those key issues.
There are also less obvious opportunities to provide Texas taxpayers some relief. For example, several times a year, my office helps to administer Texas Tax Holidays that give Texans the opportunity to make some purchases free from state and local sales taxes. The most well known of these is the original tax holiday weekend in August, which is perhaps better known as the “back to school” sales tax holiday weekend.
Details on all of the tax free opportunities available to Texans can be found at the Comptroller’s website:
SALES TAX HOLIDAY (“Back to School”) – Aug. 11-13, 2017
EMERGENCY PREPARATION SUPPLIES SALES TAX HOLIDAY – April 22-24, 2017
ENERGY STAR SALES TAX HOLIDAY – May 27-29, 2017
WATER-EFFICIENT PRODUCTS SALES TAX HOLIDAY – May 27-29, 2017
This Legislative session has seen at least one notable attempt to add to the list of sales tax holidays. I applaud Senator Brandon Creighton for filing Senate Bill 133, which calls for a sales tax holiday on firearms and hunting supplies. As an avid hunter, I know when deer season rolls around each year, I’ll be visiting the sporting goods store to make sure I’ve got everything I need before heading out with my son or daughters.
The bill sets the holiday for the last full weekend in August – just in time for the fall hunting seasons. In addition to firearms, the bill exempts the following hunting supplies: ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, firearm cleaning supplies, gun cases and gun safes, hunting optics, and hunting safety equipment.
When I was a Senator, I filed very similar legislation.
Unfortunately at that time, I didn’t have enough conservative support to get the bill to the Governor, so I will be following Senator Creighton’s bill closely as it makes its way through the Legislature and I will keep you up to date on this and other issues facing Texas!
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Yours in service,