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Posts Tagged ‘Comptroller’

Who’s afraid of the Republican slate?

I was reading this story about a kerfuffle in the Republican runoff for Railroad Commissioner when a thought struck me. A Republican candidate seeking a post that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry said he won’t cut ties to his energy business if elected to the Texas Railroad Commission – a state board that […]

Collier’s sales tax criticism of Hegar makes the news

That’s how you do it. Democrat Mike Collier, a certified public accountant from Houston, will start airing television ads criticizing opponent Glenn Hegar, a Republican state senator from Katy, for his support to phase out property taxes and increase state sales taxes. Collier and Hegar are vying to replace outgoing Comptroller Susan Combs, a Republican. […]

Precinct analysis: Republican primary election

I’ve done the Democrats, so now let’s take a look at the Republicans. In this case, I did have a few specific questions in mind, so my approach here will be a little different. First, we all know that Steve Stockman’s performance art piece campaign against Sen. John Cornyn didn’t amount to anything, but did […]

Collier hammers Hegar for property tax idiocy

Good. During the recent Republican primary for state comptroller, state Sen. Glenn Hegar repeatedly endorsed eliminating local property taxes in Texas. Borrowing from GOP opponent Debra Medina’s 2010 playbook, Hegar urged a shift to sales taxes to make up the more than $40 billion a year of revenue that cities, counties, school districts and other […]

What will The Dew do this time?

Go negative or go home is the strategy the pundits have selected for him. Political experts have a bit of advice for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s re-election campaign: go negative or go home. The incumbent Senate president was crushed in Tuesday’s Republican primary by Houston Sen. Dan Patrick. In all, more than 72 percent of […]

The UT/TT primary polls were completely useless

I expressed my contempt with the UT/Texas Trib’s Democratic primary poll result for the US Senate race last night, which they richly deserved. Sure, pollster Jim Henson admitted that “the first person to raise some money and run some ads could really move this”, and that’s largely what happened, but that got lost in all […]

Primary results: Statewide

So Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott won easily. They never had to sweat their primaries, so on Tuesday night Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis turned their attention to a fall election that is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested and closely watched Texas governor’s races in […]

Pay no attention to Mark Jones

This is a really bad idea. At least for the time being, the Republican primary is the decisive election for the governance of Texas. In contrast, the most pressing issue facing Houston-area Democratic primary voters will be whether they prefer safe mainstream candidates or provocative and potentially damaging outsiders as the party’s long-shot nominees for […]

January finance reports for Democratic statewide candidates

With the exception of a stray missing report here and there, all of the January campaign finance reports for state office holders and seekers are up on the Texas Ethics Commission webpage. Here’s a brief look at the reports filed by Democratic candidates for statewide offices. I already have reports for the candidates in contested […]

Parker 2018

It seems pretty certain that a statewide candidacy is in Mayor Parker’s future. LSQ: What’s next for you after your term expires at the end of 2015? There’s been a lot of talk that you will run for statewide office as a Democrat in 2016 or 2018. AP: I don’t intend to run for anything […]

Why some polls are less accurate than others

The local GOP had a rally Monday night that among other things featured a “straw poll” of the faithful to see who their preferences were in the upcoming primary election. Harris County Republicans worked to energize their base on Monday night with a rally at the Galleria, where a parade of statewide candidates pitched voters […]

Has Debra Medina been trolling us?

Peggy Fikac suggests that maybe she has. If the idea of an independent run for governor by Debra Medina has made some GOP powers-that-be a little queasy, that’s fine with her. All the more so, you may safely assume, if the idea prompts some of them to help fund the race she’d rather run for, […]

Mike Collier makes his entrance

Mike Collier, the Democratic candidate for Comptroller, has officially rolled out his campaign: Pretty effective pitch, I think. For sure, he has plenty of material to work with. Collier also got interviewed by the Trib on Monday: Nearly as soon as state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, ended her June filibuster, Democrats began talking about […]

Medina for Governor?

Well, this would shake things up. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina could end up running again for the state’s highest office, this time as an independent, she said Friday afternoon. Medina, who has been exploring a race for comptroller for several months, told the Tribune earlier this month that she is having trouble raising […]

Villarreal not running for Comptroller

One name off the board. State Rep. Mike Villarreal said Wednesday he has decided against a statewide run for comptroller and will instead campaign for re-election in San Antonio’s District 123. Villarreal said he has been encouraged by Democrat activists and colleagues to run for Texas’ chief financial officer but that obligations to his family, […]

Dems have a Comptroller candidate

BOR introduces us to Mike Collier. Earlier this month the Burnt Orange Report wrote about a “Mystery Houston-Area Democrat” who was building a statewide team, it turns out that man is Mike Collier, and he wants to be the next Comptroller for the state of Texas. The Houston businessman believes our state government needs an […]

Combs not running for re-election

And a domino falls. Comptroller Susan Combs opened up the logjam that has been statewide office in Texas by announcing Wednesday that she will not seek election in 2014. Announcements were immediately flying with state Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, throwing his green eye-shades into the race. Combs, 68, was first won the comptroller’s post in […]

Senate officially taps the Rainy Day Fund

Well done. Texas senators hammered out a sweeping deal to increase state funding for water and transportation projects and schools on Tuesday, tackling some of the thorniest issues of the legislative session all at once. The senators voted 31-0 for Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would ask Texas voters to approve taking $5.7 billion out […]

More details on the House budget

Consider this to be written in pencil, because it’s going to change. More than $1.6 billion and disagreements on how much Texas should spend on public education and Medicaid separate the budgets proposed by the House and Senate. The Senate budget proposal, passed 29-2 by the upper chamber last week, spends $195.5 billion, a 2.9 […]

Supplement this!

Time for the Lege to pay a few past-due bills from 2011. That’s where a supplemental budget comes in. It is literally a second budget added to the original one lawmakers approved in 2011. It’s not an unusual course for lawmakers to take to address lingering IOUs, but this year’s efforts are becoming more complicated […]

On encouraging jury service

District Clerk Chris Daniel notes that many people do not get paid when they take off work to serve on jury duty, and that therefore they generally choose to ignore their summonses. During the upcoming session, the state Legislature can address this issue and ensure that jury pools include a true cross-section of county residents […]

Amazon fulfills its end of the deal with Texas

Good to see. Nine months after it struck a deal with the state to bring thousands of jobs and invest millions of dollars in Texas, online retail giant Amazon.com on Wednesday unveiled the first steps toward keeping its end of the bargain. Amazon said Wednesday it will build three fulfillment centers in Texas, creating about […]

The revenue estimate is in

And under normal circumstances it would be very good news. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, laying out the parameters for state spending on the eve of the legislative session, said Monday that the rebounding Texas economy gives lawmakers $8.8 billion unallocated in state coffers for this budget period and an improving picture for the next two […]

When is a surplus not a surplus?

When any extra money you might have is already accounted for, due to unaddressed needs, accounting shenanigans, and shortsighted cuts. Some lawmakers and budget experts expect to have as much as $8 billion to $9 billion more in general revenue in this fiscal period, which ends Aug. 31. Some are guessing lower. Combs will give […]

Amazon comes to Schertz

Hello, Schertz! After about six months of negotiations, this city, the Schertz Economic Development Corp. and Guadalupe County have approved about $7.6 million in direct tax incentives to land a $166 million distribution warehouse for Amazon.com. The 1.26 million-square-foot warehouse, called a fulfillment center, will become the largest facility in Schertz and Guadalupe County, Schertz […]

What kind of debt is it?

Comptroller Susan Combs is real worried about city and county debt, y’all. Local governments are loading down Texas taxpayers with debt without providing them enough information about the amount already owed for roads, schools and other public projects, State Comptroller Susan Combs contends in a report released Wednesday. Titled “Your Money and Your Debt,” the […]

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 […]

Amazon starts collecting sales tax today

We are in a new era. Beginning Sunday, Texans will see state and local sales taxes show up on their taxable Amazon purchases — the result of a deal with the state comptroller’s office that resolved the e-commerce giant’s past tax liabilities with the state in exchange for the sales tax collections, the creation of […]

Is the Amazon deal with the state legal?

The Statesman raises a great question about the settlement deal between Amazon and the state of Texas that will get the online retailer to start collecting sales taxes in Texas while forgiving back taxes the state says it owes. But is it legal? Austin lawyer Buck Wood, a tax attorney and a former deputy comptroller […]

Amazon settles up with Texas

Good. Amazon.com will start collecting sales taxes from Texas customers this summer and agreed to make capital investments of $200 million and create 2,500 jobs in the state over the next four years, Comptroller Susan Combs announced this morning. In return, the state will drop its efforts to collect back sales taxes from the company. […]

Our long Amazonian nightmare may finally be over

Negotiations are in progress to get Amazon to pay something like its fair share. Amazon.com is negotiating with the state to start paying Texas sales taxes on online sales and to create some jobs in the state, reviving talks that fell apart at the end of last year’s legislative session, sources involved in the conversations […]

All the “news” that fits, we print

I’ve heard of slow news days before, but this is ridiculous. State Comptroller Susan Combs trumpeted a survey Tuesday showing – as she wrote in the forward to a 15-page report – that a mere 3.4 percent of employers surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act will be good for their business. Nearly two-thirds said federal […]

Comptroller Combs’ slush fund

It took me longer than usual to read this story because I kept having to stop to say “Seriously? Seriously?” When lawmakers gave Comptroller Susan Combs more power to spend tax money to attract sporting events and conventions to the state, the idea was to generate economic development in Texas that might go somewhere else. […]

That’s hitting them where they live

Clever. Railroad Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones vacated her office when she moved from Austin to run for the state Senate, and she should not be continuing to collect her monthly salary, a lawsuit filed [last week] alleges. In the suit, Austin attorney and former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire alleges that Jones’ move of […]