Wednesday, May 15, 2019

#TXLEGE: Dan Patrick and Jane Nelson need to KILL this TAX HIKE (that already passed the frickin' house)

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

Sssssssssssssssssssay what, via. Forbes:
Though the sales tax hike appears dead, Texas taxpayers are not in the clear for the year. In the same week that the sales tax hike was tabled, another tax hike, one targeted at travel agents, passed the House and now heads to the Senate for further consideration next week.

That proposed tax hike, HB 3579, would affect all travel booking fees, inflating costs for Texans and out-of-state visitors when they use either in-person, or online travel booking services. Hotel occupancy taxes are already collected on the room price agents arrange with hotels. HB 3579 would extend hotel occupancy taxes beyond the room rate and apply the tax to the fee paid to travel agents.

It may strike some as odd that lawmakers would pursue policies that make their state a more expensive place to visit, but that’s what enactment of HB 3579 would do. HB 3579, which was approved by the House this week and now heads to the Senate, is a tax increase that will adversely affect anyone who books a hotel stay through a traditional travel agent or an Online Travel Agent (OTA), such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and Hotwire. Next week’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on HB 3579 will be instructive as to whether Texas senators intend to slap a new tax on people who book hotels and other lodging accommodations online, despite this being a time when state coffers are flush.
A source e-mails:
[T]his is also a case of massive cronyism. It uses higher taxes as a cudgel to push travelers and tourists to the likes of in order to keep fees down— in other words, it’s a total cronyist giveaway to Big Hotel (it also disadvantages smaller, independent hotels, which may be more dependent than on the likes of Orbitz for bookings). It is also straight up extending a HOTEL LODGING tax to services— kind of like if Texas decided to apply a cigarette tax rate to gas pumped at your local Exxon station.
For those wondering, this was the vote in the house:

Note: Page 3348 in the Journal
Obviously, this is a wretched bill for all of the reasons discussed above.

The good news, however, is that the Senate can kill it by...doing nothing.

If Jane Nelson refuses to vote the bill out of committee...the bill dies.

If Dan Patrick refuses to bring the bill up for floor consideration...the bill dies.

Bottom Line: This bill should never have gotten this far.  That being said, the Senate still has the opportunity to do what should have originally been done.  Hopefully, they do.  If not, woe unto all of us....


Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: (512) 463-0001

Chairwoman Jane Nelson: (512) 463-0112

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