Bettencourt Opposes Sales Tax Increase Proposed By The “Big 3″
Texas State Senator and Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax and Reform, Paul Bettencourt joined The Chad Hasty Show on Tuesday to discuss Monday's passage of Senate Bill 2, property tax reform.
Bettencourt, who authored S.B. 2, said Monday was a victory for all Texas property tax payers. Bettencourt told KFYO that he did not know in advance that Amarillo Senator Kel Seliger would flip to voting to allow debate on S.B. 2 and in fact believed that a Democrat Senator had a better chance of voting to allow debate.
Bettencourt praised Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for showing that all options were on the table to get a vote on property tax reform in the Texas Senate.
For those watching how property tax reform will play out, all eyes will be on the Texas House Wednesday, April 24th. That's the day when the House is expected to take up their own version of property tax reform. When asked if he would be in contact with author of H.B. 2 and House Chair of Ways and Means Dustin Burrows, Bettencourt said they would talk "everyday" leading up to the vote.
Bettencourt also said the language of H.B. 2 isn't as important as voting out the legislation. The Senate version of the bill includes a 2.5% revenue increase trigger on school districts while the current House version does not.
In an apparent split from the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker, Bettencourt came out against raising the sales tax currently and said that he did not see a "tremendous appetite" in the Texas Senate for approving an increase in the sales tax. Bettencourt wants to know if every dollar would going to go to tax relief and "I haven't heard that yet".
Bettencourt told Hasty, "whether it's income tax, property tax, sales tax, or whatever tax, I'm not voting for an increase". Bettencourt continued to say that a tax swap is not currently a popular idea in the Texas Senate, "tax swaps got us into trouble ten years ago when we swapped out property tax relief for the franchise tax".
Monday on The Chad Hasty Show, Governor Greg Abbott was promoting the idea of increasing the sales tax as a way of lowering property taxes.
Listen to the full interview above with Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt.