Report: Bill that would have increased state sales tax by a penny is dead

Posted at 5:05 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 20:18:19-04

A bill that would increase the state sales tax by a penny to reduce property taxes for home and business owners is dead.

The author of the bill tells the Dallas Morning News that the Senate is to blame.

“We could have forced the issue, but why do that if they’re (in the Senate) not going to pass a bill and be supportive,” Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble, told the News.  

Speaker Dennis Bonnen also declared the bill dead thanks to the Senate.

“This legislation was an opportunity for lawmakers to further reduce property taxes and sustain the relief provided in House Bill 3 in the future. It became clear that even in the event of the House’s passage, this legislation would be unlikely to pass in the Texas Senate, as evidenced by their vote on House Bill 3 (school finance bill),” Cait Meisenheimer, Bonnen’s spokeswoman told the News.

Other House members said the action in the Senate on Monday to identify existing revenue for property tax relief, instead of a sales tax hike, might have deflated some of the importance for Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest priority to increase the sales tax.

Increasing the state sales tax by one cent would have generated about $5 billion a year in revenue, which could have lowered school property tax rates by about 15 cents per $100 of valuation. For the owner of a $100,000 house, that would have been about $150 per year.