SB 881

84(R) - 2015
Senate Finance
Senate Finance
Economic & Small Business Development

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Jane Nelson

Bill Caption

Relating to the dedication of certain wine-related revenue.

Fiscal Notes

A fiscal note dated April 8, 2015 indicates that the bill would not affect the amounts collected for any tax revenue source, but it would shift the allocation for an indeterminate portion of the specified tax revenues from the General Revenue Fund to specific state agencies, institutions of higher education, and the Wine Industry Development Fund.

Bill Analysis

Senate Bill 881 would allow for a maximum of $2 million total, per fiscal year, of revenues from the excise tax wine and the sales tax on wineries collected in and out of state to be appropriated for different research projects, as well as for the Wine Industry Development Fund, depending on the amount of money available.

Senate Bill 881 would renew legislation passed during the 79th Legislature in 2005. It would also reallocate the maximum amounts of money possibly allocated to different projects.

Vote Recommendation Notes

5/22/15 update:

No amendments have been introduced on the Senate floor and no changes have been made to the bill in House committee. We continue to remain neutral.

The second chamber sponsors are Representative Drew Springer and Representative Jim Murphy.

First chamber recommendation:

Senate Bill 881 renews a piece of legislation passed by the 79th Legislature, and expiring this year, that aimed at stimulating the growth of the wine industry in Texas by possibly directing some of the revenues derived from the excise tax and sales tax on wine to viticulture and oenology research projects, and to the Wine Industry Development Fund, including to match money provided by private entities.

Senate Bill 881 is supposed to follow in the footsteps of the legislation it renews by helping foster the growth of the wine industry in Texas. Unfortunately, like many economic development programs, this can potentially create distortions in the free market system. These programs are funded with tax revenues; lower taxes would allow for taxpayers to buy more wine with less money, and for the wine industry to yield greater profits and hence completely finance any research project it deems necessary to grow the industry.

We do not think that the role of government includes helping stimulate the growth of an industry. Nevertheless, we realize that Senate Bill 881 is renewing existing legislation, does not make any new appropriations and does not require the above-mentioned appropriations of tax revenues. As a consequence, we will remain neutral on Senate Bill 881.