Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Well That’s a Relief, Texas Can Continue to Inadequately Raise Revenue

Late yesterday justices of the Texas Supreme Court, Republicans all, ruled that the business franchise tax was not unconstitutional as alleged by plaintiff Allcat Claims Service LP.

This was a lawsuit that was filed last year that claimed that the 2005 revamp of the Texas tax collection system, a totally inadequate one given the basic necessities of what it must pay for, was unconstitutional because of the 1993 Bullock Amendment, passed by the legislature and agreed upon by Texas voters, that forbade the establishment of an income tax.

Yes, voters voted not to have state income taxes. Do tell.

The court found that this was not a tax on the income of real flesh and blood people, but a tax on an entity.

So we can all breathe a sigh of relief that one of the state’s major sources of revenue, a totally inadequate source of revenue given the current biennial budget shortfall of $28 billion, will not be squished like a cockroach in a corner.

They can continue to raise revenue from businesses, revenue that doesn’t cover costs.

Frankly, I was routing for an overturn of the business tax, not because I want Texas to face a budget crisis like it has never faced before, but because I wanted the legislature to be forced into a corner and finally pass legislation that would adequately fund public school education and Medicaid.

But that’s our Republican Supreme Court, enabling the cutters of government services one more time.

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