Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar entered the 84th Legislative Session with a goal of repealing nine state taxes. He aimed to remove outdated statutes, reduce administrative burdens, and provide tax relief.
Fortunately for taxpayers, eight of the nine taxes for a value of $18.3 million were eliminated by the Legislature and are inactive as of September 1, 2015.
The session ended with a substantial $4 billion tax and fee relief package, dominated by property tax relief and a permanent cut to the business franchise tax. Those bills, however, were not on the Comptroller’s tax repeal list.
Instead, he highlighted the following nine taxes (2016-17 budget value in parentheses):
- Inheritance Tax ($0): SB 752—passed.
- Oil Regulation Tax, Sulphur Tax ($10,947,000): SB 757—passed.
- Fireworks Tax ($2,930,000): SB 761—passed.
- Liquified Gas Tax, Bingo Rental Tax, Controlled Substance Tax Certificates, and Mixed Beverage Tax ($4,447,000): HB 1905—passed.
- Combative Sports Admissions Tax ($1,202,000): SB 752—removed from original legislation.
The original version of SB 752 that included eliminating the combative sports admissions tax was the only tax not repealed, but the final version of SB 752 repeals the inheritance tax in Texas, which hasn’t been collected for 10 years. Though not responsible for any tax relief in dollar terms, it’s good to know Texans will not be burdened with paying this tax anytime soon.
SB 757 removes a production tax on crude petroleum and sulphur that accounts for $10.9 million in relief. SB 761 repeals the two percent excise tax on fireworks for a monetary value of $2.9 million. HB 1905 eliminates several taxes that include the following: liquefied gas tax, bingo rental tax, and the mixed beverage tax for an amount of $4.5 million.
At the request of the Comptroller, the Legislature was able to eliminate these taxes to eliminate unnecessary burdens for a total monetary value of $18.3 million. This helps reduce the burden on Texas taxpayers and businesses and leaves more money in the productive private sector.
We applaud these actions on the part of the Comptroller and Legislature in supporting tax relief, which continues to advance conservative principles by prioritizing government restraint over spending more.