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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Hamilton’

From the “Tax breaks for me but not for thee” department

There are two types of people in Texas: Those for whom the tax code is written to favor, and everybody else. The Dallas Country Club, not a place usually thought of as needing a huge tax break, used a quirk in state law to reduce its taxable value by nearly half. Valero, one of the […]

Businesses say they want Medicaid expansion, too

This really comes down to two things. Chambers of commerce representing companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Kimberly-Clark Corp. (KMB) are challenging Texas Governor Rick Perry and lawmakers to expand health care for the poor in the state with the highest percentage of uninsured people. The chambers of five cities are sending lobbyists […]

Nine hundred million reasons why expanding Medicaid is a good idea

It’s all about the money. Expanding Medicaid could make available at least $900 million in state money that otherwise would be slated for health care as lawmakers work to pay for Texas’ priorities, according to an analysis released Tuesday. “More efficient health spending means there’s more money available for other needs like water and education,” […]

Vouchers continue to be a tough sell

I won’t be happy till they’re dead and buried, but it’s something. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, doesn’t think the Senate has a taste for vouchers. Noting that a two-thirds vote of the 31-member chamber is needed to bring up a bill for discussion, she said, “I believe there are 11 votes to block.” House Public […]

As if you needed another reason to support Medicaid expansion

Even more data on why Medicaid expansion makes sense from Texas Impact. The study, by former Texas deputy comptroller Billy Hamilton, says Texas shouldn’t pass up the chance to insure up to 2 million of its more than 6 million uninsured people. Hamilton cited other benefits. Expansion of the Medicaid rolls would “provide relief to […]

Sunsetting tax expenditures

Sens. John Carona and Rodney Ellis have the right idea. Over the past 18 months, many of our constituents told us they have trouble finding a reliable, accurate and up-to-date source of information on these tax breaks, exemptions and special treatments — often called tax preferences or loopholes. Unfortunately, so do we. The Legislature makes […]

Yet another report saying we should expand Medicaid in Texas

It’s the fiscally responsible thing to do, in addition to being the morally correct thing to do. Expanding Medicaid is a “smart, affordable and fair” decision for Texas, according to a report issued by Billy Hamilton, a non-partisan consultant commissioned by Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas and Texas Impact, a statewide interfaith network. “If […]

No, we can’t eliminate the property tax

The latest wingnut economic fantasy is that we can completely eliminate the property tax and replace it with an increased sales tax. Debra Medina was a champion of this during the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary, which should give you some idea of where this lies on the spectrum of mainstream policies. Former Deputy Comptroller Billy […]

Don’t plan that Sunday trip to Liquor Mart just yet

The debate over allowing Sunday liquor sales continues on. A leader of the Texas Package Stores Association told the Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday there’s been no great demand from customers that liquor stores open on Sundays. Plus, opening on Sunday would likely spread the same sales over seven days instead of six, […]

Amazon was just the beginning

I agree with this. By telling retail giant Amazon.com that it owes $269 million in uncollected sales taxes, the State of Texas has waded into the national debate over taxing Internet sales. The state comptroller’s office said it has sent similar demands for payment to other online retailers. Allen Spelce, a spokesman for the comptroller’s […]

Texas 20/20 on the budget

Via First Reading, a group called Texas 20/20 has taken a look at what other states have done to deal with their budget shortfalls, and how that may apply to Texas in next year’s legislative session. The author is former Deputy Comptroller Billy Hamilton, who was a high-ranking aide to Democratic and Republican comptrollers. Here’s […]

Sometimes, government really is run like a business

And that’s not such a good thing, as former deputy state comptroller Billy Hamilton pointed out in testimony before the House Select Committee on Government Efficiency and Accountability. Don’t expect savings anytime soon. Check out other states that tried the same. Chew the fat with experts and possible vendors. Make sure the private sector’s offering […]