Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), writing in the Corpus Christi Caller blatantly calls for tax increases. He gets very specific, including a call for expanding the sales tax base to include business/professional services. Fortunately, as reported in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, House Ways and Means committee chairman Rep. Harvey Hilderbran opined “most lawmakers have no interest in broadening the sales tax base.” All tax bills must first be approved by Ways and Means before they can be considered by the legislature.
Coinciding with Guillen’s call for more taxes was the issuance of a report by the state Comptroller titled Tax Exemptions and Tax Incidence, which is 68 pages of how to raise taxes by eliminating exemptions, exclusions and credits. The report shows that a sales tax on business and professional services would generate almost $12 billion in new state revenue over the next biennium. Included in that amount is $511 million attributable to accounting and auditing services.
In addition to calling for the expansion of the sales tax base, Guillen also suggests “a half-cent sales tax increase, a one-fourth-percent franchise tax hike, a half-cent gas tax increase, a 59-cent cigarette tax increase, an Internet purchase sales tax, a one-half-percent motor vehicle sales tax increase, a 1-cent beer tax and a 1 percent soda tax to raise a combined $9 billion.”