State Comptroller StrayhornState Comptroller Carol Strayhorn has demanded that Gov. Perry call an immediate special session of the Legislature for the purpose of giving the state's $1.2 billion tax surplus back to the tax payers. Amazingly the governor has disregarded his opponent's demands.
Giving some of their hard earned money back to the taxpayers seems a good idea and I would be happy to get the check for $260 the Comptroller recommends be handed to all Texas homeowners. The problem is that homeowner's property taxes didn't contribute to the surplus because Texas has no state property tax. I am not totally sure what all goes into the state's general revenue fund these days but most of it is probably from the sales tax. My family paid a lot of sales tax too but a lot of families that paid sales taxes don't own homes and paid zero in property taxes. Whey should they subsidize my home ownership?
It just doesn't seem fair to take money paid by one group of people and hand it to another smaller group of people even if those folks did pay some of the tax paid by the larger group. It seems it would be more fair to cut the sales tax for a period of time thereby forgoing $1.2 billion in new revenue.
The fact that homeowners vote disproportionately in the GOP primary makes the Comptroller's idea smell more than a little of opportunism.