The Texas Association of Business has announced a plan to use a portion of the state’s surplus dollars for tax relief.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced last week that there will be $8.8 billion left unspent in the current budget, and that the Rainy Day Fund will grow to $11.8 billion.

“We will have over four billion dollars that can’t be spent by lawmakers because of constitutional spending limits,” said TAB President and CEO Bill Hammond. “That money should be given back to the taxpayers and businesses of this state that paid the money in the first place.”

The group’s tax reduction plan calls for:

  • Making the one million dollar franchise tax exemption for businesses permanent.
  • Allowing all businesses to exempt the first million dollars of gross receipts for business taxation.
  • Decreasing the franchise tax rate by a quarter of a percent.
  • Creating a research and development tax credit.
  • Passing targeted sales tax exemptions for consumers, including college text books and computers.

Allowing businesses to exempt the first million dollars of gross receipts would save Texas businesses around $1.8 billion per biennium.

The quarter percentage cut in the business franchise tax rate is also estimated to lower the tax impact on businesses in Texas by $2.4 billion over the biennium.

Some of the targeted sales tax breaks for consumers include ending sales taxes on college text books and new computer sales.

“We realize that this is a starting point for discussions, but we don’t think that this is an opportunity that can be passed up by lawmakers and the leadership,” said Hammond. “We believe that this is an opportunity for lawmakers to give Texas businesses more opportunities to grow and flourish.”