"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Over the weekend, we read TPPF's recently released Policymaker's Guide to Corporate Welfare; we offer some notes on things we found interesting, but we recommend reading the whole thing yourself.
TPPF divides corporate welfare into three areas:
- State Subsidies -- Direct payments from taxpayers.
- Local Tax "Incentives" -- Special interest carve outs that lead to higher rates for everyone else.
- Regulatory favoritism -- According to TPPF: "the government enacts a series of regulations that essentially locks in a guaranteed revenue stream for existing players, all while discouraging new players from entering the market."
TPPF makes a number of policy recommendations; all move the ball in the right direction, though we will note some areas where they don't go far enough:
- Eliminate the Texas Enterprise Fund.
- Repeal all of the "Event Trust Funds."
- Eliminate the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program.
- Eliminate the Agricultural Loan Guarantee Program.
- Eliminate the Texas Emissions Reduction Program.
- Eliminate the mandatory Texas' Renewable Portfolio Standard.
- Abolish the Skills Development Fund.
- Require "Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones" to publish their financial information on a the local governmental entity in questions public website.
- Note I: This doesn't go nearly far enough; Tax Increment Financing and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones should be abolished in their entirety.
- Note II: The "Transportation" bond Austin passed last year is full of this crap.
- Allow Chapter 312 "property tax abatements" to expire in 2019!!!
- Note: Did you know that all local property tax abatements will go away in two years if the legislature does nothing?!? Neither did we!!! The Senate needs to grow a pair and kill this nonsense without a hearing.
- Eliminate Chapter 313 "abatements" from school districts.
- Note: Apparently, the office of the comptroller was recently given authority to deny this foolishness as well; we'll be keeping an eye on Glenn Hegar's performance in this area.
- Require local governments to make their "economic development" policies consistent and transparent.
- Note: No, we should just abolish this drivel.
- Eliminate the ability of political subdivisions to impose section 4A and 4B sales taxes.
- Discontinue public funding for "Economic Development Corporations."
- Eliminate Hotel Occupancy Taxes.
- Deregulate Title Insurance.
- Deregulate medical "scope of practice" requirements.
- Eliminate Texas' "three tier" system of alcohol regulations.
- Note: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is a public policy abomination that should be abolished in it's entirety.
- Review every occupational license category in Texas and eliminate all but those that demonstrate the highest level of need to protect health and safety.
- Note: Licensing is theft. There is no 'health and safety' for any category of license. That's always been true, but it's even truer in a world that includes Yelp!
Read the whole thing here.