State leaders continue to push a proposed bill that would swap sales taxes to cut down your property taxes. However, the El Paso County Commissioner’s court is disapproving the proposal and said it would negatively impact those who make less money.
“We wanted to send a letter to our delegation and to other important parties in the state legislature to let them know that we’re opposed to any type of sales tax increase because it’s a regressive form of taxation,” County Commissioner David Stout told KTSM.
A unanimous vote was approved on Monday to oppose the bill proposed by Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. It would allow one penny to be added on to sales tax in the state in order to bring down property tax rates.
Those in favor of the proposal say that extra penny would generate millions of dollars to help bring down property tax rates.
Stout told KTSM the bill would affect those at lower income levels, “It’s regressive and that’s something that we think would be negative for people who live in El Paso.”
The county commissioner also said there are other efforts happening at the state legislature that could provide tax relief for people, however, this bill is not the answer; especially for El Pasoans.
“Somebody who may make $20,000 a year has to pay the same for a gallon of milk as someone who may make $200,000 a year,” Stout explained. “That additional sales tax affects them more because it’s a larger percentage of what they have in their discretionary or in their income.”
According to the Legislative Budget Board, an agency that calculates the financial impacts of different bills, those who make under $99,000 a year would see a tax increase. People who make between $99,000 and $149,000 a year would see a very minimal reduction in property taxes.
That leaves those who have higher income levels the ones to see any gain.
“For those who make above $150,000 a year they would receive the most benefit. How is that fair? It’s not,” Stout added.
The County’s letter of opposition should be sent by Monday, as the bill is expected to be heard on the house floor that following Tuesday.
If the bill passes, voters can approve or disapprove in the November election.