Potential revenue sources
Gambling debate heating up again
By: DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News
As budgetary needs pile up, the debate over video lottery terminals, a type of slot machine, has started in earnest. Lobbyists are pressing lawmakers to approve machines that would pour as much as $1.25 billion annually into state coffers and heavily subsidize purses at horse tracks. Other bills expected to be offered soon would allow for the creation of casinos in the state.
Business tax: What's fair is arguable
By CLAY ROBISON
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN - The idea, as outlined by state leaders, may sound simple enough: Create a fair, broad-based business tax, preferably with a low rate, to help cut local property taxes and provide a new revenue source for public schools.
"I think you will find strong opposition to that in the House," [State Rep. Sylvester] Turner said.
Despite the obstacles, Allaway believes the Legislature will make significant tax changes this year in the face of growing public pressure and a court order to replace a school finance system that is largely funded by local property taxes.
To accomplish that goal, he said, the Legislature may have to offer businesses a "mixture of tax bases and some types of options." According to one suggestion, companies could be given the option of being taxed on their payroll or on their revenue, whichever was less.
Under the broad outlines of a new tax plan endorsed by Dewhurst and all 31 senators, the franchise tax would be replaced with a broader-based business tax, which would raise about twice as much money, or about $3.5 billion a year.
The new business tax would apply to partnerships, as well as corporations, while excluding sole proprietorships.