Texas House Republicans Consider Tax Breaks For Yachts As Vital State Services Are Cut—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up
At the end of this post you’ll find the current Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.
With the round-up this week, I’m passing on the news that the Republican-controlled Ways and Means committee of the Texas House of Representatives has okayed a tax break for the purchase of yachts.
(Above–Little comment needed. Photo by B. Straub.)
“Republican Rep. John Davis said other states have paved the way for his proposal — primarily Florida, which backers of his bill say is No. 1 in boat sales to Texas’ No. 2. “We’re losing our yacht sales in Texas to Florida,” said Davis…. Davis said it’s not so much a big break for yacht owners as an effort to keep the economic activity surrounding the vessels. “We’re losing a lot of downstream jobs and sales tax revenue,” he said, because Florida has limited sales taxes on yachts to $18,000. Davis’ bill, as filed, would limit the amount of boat tax to $15,625 – the amount normally due on a $250,000 vessel – regardless of sales price. He said he’s changing that to match Florida’s $18,000 maximum.The fiscal analysis on the original bill said it would cost Texas $1.4 million annually in lost tax revenue, but supporters including yacht brokers note the figure doesn’t take into account the ripple effect of Texas losing yachts. Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, said at a Ways and Means hearing on the proposal that he felt like “I just walked through the Twilight Zone.”
Beyond what this proposal says about some yacht owners, the Florida legislature, Rep. Davis, and our nation as a whole, let’s say that giving a tax break to yacht buyers really would spur some minor amount of economic activity and jobs here in Texas. I’m not conceding that point—But let’s just say.
Wouldn’t better educating our kids, providing greater resources for public health, and avoiding the public sector layoffs we are seeing in Texas also be good for our state? Wouldn’t these things create economic benefits and jobs in Texas? Yet our state legislature seems intent on attacking the most important aspects of our future in Texas in the current budget debate.
Let’s take teacher layoffs in Texas. Rather than maybe or maybe not keeping people employed in such a round-about way with tax breaks for the purchase of yachts, why not take the funds that will be lost from the yacht tax break and put those funds towards retaining teachers who would otherwise be terminated?
Or, instead, maybe we could just have tax breaks for the purchase of yachts.
Here is the round-up—
The long range plan to kill public education is reaching the end game. Over a tTexasKaos, lightseeker talks about seeing one of the (unintentional) moving parts at a public lecture given by one of the premier charter schools in the nation. Check out Educational Reform and Our Common Peril!
Bay Area Houston has the latest on state representative Larry Taylor’s emergency surgery.
What conservatives believe to be true ranks far above what is actually true,and even what is demonstrably true according to science and mathematics. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs points out that this why Rick Perry declares Easter weekend as ‘Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas’, and why John Cornyn “isn’t so sure” that Jon Kyl was wrong when he claimed that abortions were 90% of Planned Parenthood’s budget. It should consequently be no surprise that they place no value in teachers and education.
How about a bit of good news for a change? Off the Kuff notes that a bill that gives microbreweries greater latitude in getting their beers to customerspassed the House last week.
Neil at Texas Liberal praised Governor Perry for his call for prayer to end the severe drought in Texas. At the same time, Neil asked that if prayer can end the drought, might it be that Texas is being punished by God for hard-hearted policies towards the poor?
McBlogger take a looks back at one idea to bring more water to Texas that will work, and another one that is from Rick Perry.
Easter Lemming discovers Oh, the places you’ll go! as an iPhone, even if it is no longer your iPhone.