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Dying in Committee, Part 5

What business-friendly constitutional amendment just died in the House?

By Richard Whittaker, 4:04PM, Mon. May. 7, 2007

Rep. Patrick Rose: Protecting future Leges.
Rep. Patrick Rose: Protecting future Leges.

Time for a real-time death on the floor.

What is it? House Joint Resolution 44, sponsored by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, et al.

What would it have done? Change the Constitution so that if the Lege ever wanted to pass a change in the business franchise tax rate, they'd need a three-fourths majority.

Why would it have been good? Because Texas needs to secure its reputation as never seeing a business tax it couldn't slash.

What are the odds of it passing? None. Since it just only picked up 93 votes on the floor, it failed to get adopted. A bloody fight in the House (well, they are its stock-in trade) had the numbers bounce between a two-thirds, three-fourths, and four-fifths majority for a rate change. It was all about constitutional philosophy: On one side, there are those like Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, that say that it's unfair to hamstring future legislatures with a supermajority on one tax; on the other, there are legislators like Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson, R-Waco, who believe that businesses shouldn't be taxed. It may have failed this time, but it's a pretty solid barometer on where the taxing proclivities of the House stand.

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