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Posts Tagged ‘Rene Oliveira’

“Sanctuary cities” bill modified by House committee

It’s less bad than the Senate version, but it’s still not good. A Texas House committee on Wednesday began debate on the lower chamber’s version of the controversial proposal to outlaw “sanctuary” jurisdictions, making few but significant changes to the bill the Senate passed out last month. Outlawing “sanctuary” entities, the common term for state […]

First rideshare legislative hearing

There will be a lot more where this came from. Representatives from Uber and Lyft urged lawmakers to adopt statewide regulations for the ride-hailing industry during a Texas Capitol hearing on Wednesday, citing what they called burdensome local ordinances that have driven them to leave Austin and other Texas cities. The companies fielded pointed questions […]

The budget is still broken

What was true at the beginning of the regular legislative session is still true as the special session winds down: The budget is still broken. Instead of revamping the business tax structure or taking aim at tax exemptions, lawmakers cut billions of dollars in spending and cobbled together accounting maneuvers and spending delays to meet […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill passes out of House committee

And another so-called legislative emergency gets voted on. Legislation banning “sanctuary city” policies in Texas was voted out of the House State Affairs Committee today, sending the bill to the full House for consideration. HB12 by Rep. Burt Solomons would prevent cities, counties and other governmental entities from adopting policies that prohibit law enforcement from […]

Tax expenditures

According to a legislative report prepared by the Ways and Means Committee, Texas is losing over $4 billion per biennium to various tax exemptions and expenditures. One of the largest carve-outs was for the natural gas tax, which totaled about $1 billion a year in exemptions, according to the report. An exemption for bottled water […]

The entitlement argument against removing a sales tax exemption

The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by State Rep. Rene Oliveira, continues to examine tax expenditures such as sales tax exemptions, and the whining coming from some of the potentially targeted businesses is really starting to annoy me. The $30 billion value of 2009 sales-tax exemptions is bigger than the $21 billion in sales […]

The untouchable tax breaks

You know how some Republicans like to say that there’s no such thing as temporary spending, because once something is in the budget it tends to stay there forever? Clearly, the same is true for tax expenditures, more commonly known as tax breaks. This is from a hearing by Ways and Means committee Chair Rep. […]

Where there’s a sacred cow, there’s a lobbyist protecting it

The Star-Telegram reminds us that while legislators may be hunting for sacred cows to help fill the budget gap, actually bagging them will be hard to do. The renewed look at tax breaks has generated a widespread case of jitters among lobbyists and interest groups, who are scrambling to build a case for their particular […]

Hunting sacred cows

If there’s one item on the budget fix to-do list for which there is fairly broad agreement, at least in principle, it’s the idea that the existing tax code ought to be examined to see what things are being exempted from it that maybe shouldn’t be. That includes some things – mostly services, but some […]

Doing the easy part

Sen. Dan Patrick gets his day in the sun. Wednesday is the deadline for paying federal income taxes, but it’s also when state lawmakers will consider cutting franchise taxes for 132,000 small businesses in Texas including 24,000 in Harris County. “This is Texas stimulus. This is a Texas tax cut,” said state Sen. Dan Patrick, […]