This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
Before the Texas Legislature got down to business a month ago, there was a strong feeling among insiders that the big issues would be water, transportation, and taxes. So far, the leadership has kept true to those projections.
Already, Governor Abbott has called for a $2.2 billion reduction in property taxes and a $2 billion franchise tax decrease.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus also have stated their belief that a primary goal should be tax reduction, and funding for transportation.
The House Energy and Natural Resources committees already have held a joint hearing on water and the oil and gas industry’s use, disposal, and desalination of water.
Abbott said there needs to be a reduction in property taxes. “It’s time for property owners – not government – to truly own their property.” He further stressed that: “the property tax reduction must be lasting” and that “it can’t be allowed to evaporate by rising property values.”
Of course, the oil and gas industry is one of the largest payers of property taxes, paying an estimated $4 billion in property taxes in fiscal year 2014.
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