April 24, 2006
Let the legislative liveblogging begin!

With five bills comprising the TTRC plan to be debated, there's a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Here's what we know so far:

Debate on HB3 has been postponed until 1 PM, which is to say right about now. That's the one that would enact the actual business tax that the TTRC proposed. Bill sponsor Rep. Jim Keffer wanted to run some stuff by Comptroller Strayhorn before bringing it all to the House floor.

Once again, the heavy lifting is being done by Vince, who has two liveblogging threads going. I have to agree with him on this exchange between Reps. Warren Chisum and Harold Dutton over HB1, the so-called Get Out Of Dodge plan, for which Chisum is the sponsor:

Dutton: "We're trying to follow the court's admonitions? [with this bill.] That gets us out of the trap currently, I wonder if you have any sort of prognosis about how long before we're back in the same trap if we do what this particular bill prescribes."

Now Chisum is proceeding to explain the SCOTX decision…doesn't seem like he's answering Dutton's question.

Chisum: "We have a 17 cent, after this buydown…where school districts could go in and access new revenue." Now he's explaining how the local ISDs can increase tax rates.

Chisum: "As for how long that would last, that would be up to the court. There'd have to be another lawsuit."

Dutton: "Do you have a prognosis of when we'll be back to a court might deem us to have a statewide property tax.

Chisum: "Well, Mr. Dutton, it will be at least to the general session. I'm relying on future legislators to look at this…"

Dutton: "…it recognizes that this is only a temporary solution to the challenge made by the Supreme Court made by our funding system…"

Chisum: "Absolutley…"

I cannot believe this…the author of the bill has ADMITTED this is a stop-gap measure.

While it's surprising to see him say it, it should not be a surprise for any one of us to hear it. It is the truth, after all.

More: On the concept of dedicated dollars, on the subject of doctors' deductions, and on the first real test for newly-minted Rep. Donna Howard. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: An amendment to maintain recapture in HB1 has been passed. An amendment to prevent the sending out of political advertisements at taxpayer expense was tabled. PinkDome is back in the game. And here's a handy guide to telling apart the Keffer brothers.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 24, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

I know you're not going to believe this, but I agree with you on the folly of trying to "buy down" the surplus with a tax cut just for the sake of saying "hey, we cut taxes".

I'm sure our reasoning is different, but the result is the same.

What I'm afraid we're going to get out of this is an increase in taxes with no real reformation of the system.

If that happens we're all losers.

Still, I'll lay out my objections in about a week. Right now I'm just reading and taking a break.


Posted by: Sedosi on April 24, 2006 3:24 PM