Texas has a thriving economy, low unemployment, and a business-friendly environment. In order to maintain this vibrant economy, we must invest in our people. We must have an exceptional public education system, accessible health care, a clean environment as well as a business-friendly environment. We have to weigh and balance these priorities so that we don’t reduce our income and revenue streams to the point that we can’t maintain our stature as one of the best states to live and raise a family.
In the 2015 Legislative session, a professional fee of $200/year was eliminated taking millions of dollars out of the Texas budget. Professionals I’ve spoken with weren’t even aware of the change, and didn’t ask for a reduction in such a minimal fee. Rather than eliminate fees that are negligible for the people paying them, the state needs to be looking at ways to broaden our tax base. Too many of our senior citizens on fixed incomes, and our low income citizens who have lived in their homes for decades or generations, are being forced to move due to burdensome property taxes. This is a direct result of the reduction of the franchise tax which has led to the state reducing its share of public school financing. I believe it’s time to put together a group of state leaders to look at the Texas economy and develop new revenue streams that balance the needs of the state.