May 03, 2006
Rep. Martinez-Fischer responds to Gas Tax Cut feedback

I sent a note to Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer regarding the feedback to this post on HB120, the proposed gas tax cut. Here's his response to the comments that post has received.

I want to thank Charles Kuffner for allowing me some bandwidth on his blog to describe HB 120, the Gas Tax Holiday. I also want to thank those of you have commented on the proposal. Your comments, ideas, and strategies do not fall on deaf ears.

There seems to be some worry in the blogosphere about the gas tax cut being a cosmetic plan that may affect long term behavior. The argument seem to fall like this: 1) one it's cosmetic pandering that is ineffectual, 2) it will make people drive more. It would seem that these two arguments are contradictory.

Here is the thing, right now we have a very limited time frame and a limited call of the Special Session to help Texans make ends meet. The time frame is limited by the nature of the "extra" monies that can fund HB 120, which will expire before too long. The legislation is also limited by the narrow scope of the Special Session called by Gov. Perry. We can't talk about alternative fuels because it is outside the Governor's call, but we can talk about taxes.

Right now, HB 3 is on its way to the Governor's desk. Inside that legislation is a loophole for passive investment interest and a deduction for oil and gas exploration. The Tax bill gave big business loopholes, so why not Texas families?

I don't claim that this proposal solves Texas' gasoline and diesel problem. That would be foolish pandering, but here is what it can do: it can make life a little easier by temporarily suspending the most regressive tax for Texas families. Now, that is the kind of proposal we can all get behind.

I encourage everyone to visit me at Here you can talk about Texas' energy problem and find out more about the specifics of HB 120. I need everyone's help to make this happen. Thank you again for your ideas and time with your help may be we can help save Texas families some money.

Thank you, Rep. Martinez-Fischer. I hope that answers the questions that have been raised. The comments are open if there are more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 03, 2006 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

Oh swell, a direct state subsidy to support energy producer windfall profits. Not to mention an economic disincentive for fuel efficiency.

What's not to like?

Posted by: chip on May 3, 2006 12:42 PM

Last time I checked, the Guv and the Lege thought that using taxes to influence what they think is bad behavior is not only permissible, but laidable, ergo, the $1 increase in cigarette taxes. If that be the case, they should either leave the gas tax alone, or INCREASE it.

Which is it, guys? Do you want to influence bad behavior or not? Do you want to help out cash strapped Texans or not? Be consistent. Raise both, or lower both. Or leave both alone.

Posted by: RedScare on May 3, 2006 9:56 PM