Hardworking Texas taxpayers suffered a double whammy during Thursday’s House floor proceedings.First, Rep. Ken Paxton’s HB 2785, which would have provided an additional 9-cent property tax cut, was gutted by an amendment from Rep. Jim Dunnam. According to TPPF Visiting Research Fellow and former House Appropriations Chairman Talmadge Heflin, “The effect of the Jim Dunnam amendment to HB 2785 is that the state must spend an additional $4.4 billion per biennium just on school district payroll – even after last year’s $3,000 per employee average increase – before any of the money allocated for future tax relief can be used for that purpose.”The Foundation’s research has already shown that we can support the 9-cent property tax cut through 2011 while preserving a $3 billion state balance. However, the bill’s original tax relief is now dependent on massive amounts of new spending that would not only exhaust the rest of the current surplus, but would require a tax increase of at least $1 billion next session. “Tax relief has never been this expensive,” Heflin said.Later, Rep. Tan Parker’s HJR 81, a proposed constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature prior to imposition of a state income tax, was struck down on a point of order by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.