House defies Perry over Amazon and sales taxes

This is a pleasant surprise.

Breaking with Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas House today refused to kill a provision that aims to tighten the state’s rules on when online retailers like must collect sales taxes.

The vote could force Perry — who has already vetoed similar legislation — into another difficult decision on the politically charged topic, which has seen Perry at odds with other top Texas Republicans, including Comptroller Susan Combs.

Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, included the online sales tax-related language in Senate Bill 1, the wide-ranging fiscal matters bill being debated in the Legislature’s special session.

Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, filed an amendment to strip the language from SB 1, but his provision did not survive a spirited debate in the House, where members voted 106-34 to table it.


The fiscal matters bill still has to pass the House, and then likely would have to go back to the Senate for approval. If the online sales tax-related language from Otto survives that process, Perry would have to veto the entire fiscal matters bill to remove it.

I presume that if he did veto it, that would force him to call another special session. Which I also presume he’d rather not have to do, which is why he issued a statement (that you can see at Trail Blazers) calling on the House to not do this. It still has to survive the Senate, but given that Otto’s original bill passed both chambers easily, I think that’s doable. Combine this with the Howard-Farrar Rainy Day Fund amendment, and we can now count two positive things to come out of this session. The Trib has more.

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2 Responses to House defies Perry over Amazon and sales taxes

  1. Daniel says:

    Mr. Kuffner, Thank you for your principled stand on this very important issue. I agree with you that we can’t allow big online only retailers to invade our states and bully our legislatures into giving one company an unfair competitive advantage over the other. Thanks again for your continuing coverage of this issue.

  2. Pingback: Eye on Williamson » Are TRE’s – “tax radification elections” – coming to an ISD near you?

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