Wednesday, June 01, 2011

On Vetoing Additional Revenue for Texas

You see, it has become a central thesis in my blog posts this year that Texas Republican legislators and those in the Executive Branch have become so tax averse that they not only refuse to add to the taxation instruments available to them, like taxing people and corporations who have avoided paying their share, they actually act to cut taxes even further.

Texas takes in less money than it needs to fund the services that they are constitutionally mandated to pay for. And the reason is clear: Republicans have been taken over by the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party. The TEA Party is actually a Libertarian movement – that is a movement by those who have political and economic ideas that can only be characterized as delusional.

First let me take care of something that has been nagging at me for awhile. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already. That is, the taxes that they pay are simply enough. No more. Cutting taxes further simply makes no sense, then, in their message, unless their very party name is a victim of the fuzzy thinking that goes with their ability to correctly spell in their hand-painted signs.

TEA Partiers, then, aren’t for tax cuts. Or maybe they are.

But the thing that really and truly amazes me is that a gaping loophole in sales tax law, closed in a Republican-written bill passed and sent to the Governor’s desk was vetoed today by Governor Perry. Perry vetoed a law that would have allowed Texas to collect sales taxes from online vendors on items sold to Texans, effectively denying Texas the ability to collect millions of much-needed dollars.

Swear it’s true. Read about it here.

But it gets even better. Imagine denying the state of these millions of dollars of revenue and at the same time slamming local Texas vendors who compete with online vendors, but are at a disadvantage because goods bought online do not have a sales tax, goods bought from traditional Texas vendors do.

And today the story got even more interesting because language from the vetoed bill was just inserted in a “fiscal matters” bill that will be considered in the special session that Perry himself called. If Perry is truly serious about not taxing online sales, he will have to veto the entire “fiscal matters” bill, something he may not want to do.

A sad state of affairs that Governor Perry has to be pushed and pried into doing the right thing for Texas.

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