Monday, May 10, 2010

Taxes, Texas

It is difficult not to see tax problems in Texas as local problems, because it was intentionally set-up to appear as such. The County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office has the primary responsibility for determining, collecting and distributing property taxes. Sales taxes are collected at the time of purchase, by the vendor selling a taxable item.

The vast majority of that tax money is bound for state coffers. The state of TX does not have its own revenue stream, and is hiding behind local collection agents when the state’s revenue problems are discussed.

This is a shameful fact that will be largely avoided by the state’s incumbent elected officials attempting to get re-elected this year. Why? It’s because, taxes (talk or action) are not the stuff of successful political campaigns.

Unfortunately, the recent economic turmoil, combined with the structural budget deficit (created intentionally by a special session of the legislature in 2006), will cause state coffers to come up well shy of the funds needed to continue to pay for even the reduced, in the 2003 legislative session, activities of the state’s agencies.

I have made suggestions to rectify the state’s problems with its indirect, and intentionally insufficient, funding in my blog post "Taxation suggestions for Texas" published in January, 2009.

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