The Austin Chronicle Guide to SXSW 2017

Dying in Committee, Part 5

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

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.

More State Government
Straus' Budget Stretch
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Keel Repeat
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More Dying in Committee
Dying in Committee, Part 9
Dying in Committee, Part 9
Senators can't save every bill - not even those that would save lives.

Richard Whittaker, May 14, 2007

Dying in Committee, Part 7
Dying in Committee, Part 7
Don't ask why some bills pass and some don't. The answer will make your head spin.

Richard Whittaker, May 11, 2007

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State Government, Dying in Committee, Legislature, Franchise tax

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