Yesterday’s debate in the House Appropriations Committee regarding tax-exemptions for natural gas producers points us again to the fact that the business tax policies in the state of Texas are unjust and unfair. The Texas Tribune points out that the exemption, though intended to provide relief for high-cost drilling, was enjoyed by companies whose drilling costs were as low as $24,000.
When we begin to view tax as payment for local and state government services rather than as punishment, we’ll perhaps begin to craft tax policy that is fair and just. As Cunningham points out in Eliminating the Property Tax in Texas, A Detailed Fiscal Analysis, taxes at levels sufficient to met public need represent a necessary but not sufficient condition to good government. The system through which government extracts revenue from the Texas economy, he says, should be selected for its efficiency of administration, simplicity of compliance, breadth of coverage and NEUTRALITY OF EFFECT ON ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING and allocation of resources. The current system in Texas falls short on almost all of these points.
Cunningham continues, “All other things being equal, a system that creates a more favorable climate for private sector job creation and growth, that renders government more transparent and more accountable to its citizens and that preserves and promotes fundamental liberty interests should be preferred over any other.” We couldn’t agree more.
It’s time for a Fair Tax for business in Texas.