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Summary: SB 559 would do away with a budgetary gimmick employed by the 82nd Legislature. Certain industries collecting tax remittances for government will have to pay an assortment of “prepayments” in August 2013 under current law. They will then be able to take tax credits worth the value of these extra payments in September 2013., the beginning of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014.
For instance, commercial passenger aircraft are required to charge a $5 cent fee for every alcoholic beverage they sell. Current law would require commercial aircraft to make an additional prepayment worth 25% of the August fee total to government in August 2013, and then take a tax credit to recoup that 25% in September 2013. Similar policies were extended to passenger trains, liquor sales, ale and malt liquor sales, beer, electronic funds transfers, gasoline and diesel fuel taxes, and several others.
Legislators established this complicated tax policy to balance Texas’ budget in 2011 because they did not budget appropriately. Essentially they shifted revenue from FY 2014 to deal with FY 2013’s shortfall. SB 559 does away with this gimmickry due to the improved fiscal situation facing the 83rd Legislature.
Analysis: We support SB 559 because it removes a complicated budgetary gimmick that the 82nd Legislature employed. SB 559 promotes transparency and limited government by reducing the size and complexity of Texas’ tax code.