Rep Eric Proctor published this response to today's Supreme Court Ruling, whereby the Tobacco Tax increase was struct down for violating constitutional requirements.
"Only if somebody would've said this was unconstitutional during the legislative session.....
It's time to restore the gross production tax. No more free passes for the most wealthy industry in the world at the expense of our children, teachers, senior citizens, healthcare and public safety. Oil and gas will still drill like crazy with a 7% tax."
I followed up with Proctor and he elaborated...
"I applaud the court for doing the right thing. My experience has shown me that if the legislature was a football team we would have 80 punters.
The House does not need to continue punting the ball in the special session. Rather, we must tackle difficult issues like reforming tax credits and restoring the gross production tax.
Hopefully, legislators in the majority party have realized that crafting a budget by solely raising taxes on middle income families is a nonstarter".
Democrats argue that surrounding states all charge a 7% gross production tax. But Texas does not charge a secondary income tax, as Oklahoma does. Texas relies more heavily on property taxes to fund state services.
State Auditor, Gary Jones, argues that a gross production tax is the equivalent of a property tax, but is only assessed one time (at the point that it is pumped out of the ground).