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Rep.Murphy, Jim

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State lawmakers announce proposals to reduce margins tax. 
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by: Rep. Murphy, Jim

Leaders outline legislation, benefits at State Capitol News Conference.

Rep Jim Murphy Houston, Rep Simmons Carrolton, Sen Craig Estes Wichita Falls
Sen Charles Perry Lubbock, Sen Charles Schwertner Georgetown

In a joint press conference held Wednesday at 1:30 pm in the State Capitol, lawmakers from both the House and Senate outlined proposals for reducing and possibly phasing out the margins tax.
The discussion covered the main reasons for supporting a repeal. The panel identified the margins tax as both inefficient and unpopular as well as part of a robust budget with more than adequate revenues.

They also pointed out that with the Texas economy still recovering from 2008's slump and the energy industry slowing, now is the time to stimulate the broader economy and keep Texas competitive. Other states such as NC, NY, AZ, and NM have all embraced corporate tax reform and seen corresponding increases in their tax climate rankings.

The panel noted strong support from the Tax Foundation, which advocates a repeal.

HB 193, filed by Murphy, was discussed as one of several bills filed this session regarding a margins tax repeal. In support, Murphy cited several different economic impact studies which demonstrated significant increases in employment, economic activity, and personal income that would result from a reduced or eliminated margins tax. Murphy referred to a study by the Beacon Hill Institute, concluding that by not repealing the tax in 2013, the state wasn't able to benefit from a potential 2017 windfall of 41,500 jobs, $3.4B in new investment, and a $9.8B increase in real disposable income. The BHI data, Murphy concluded, was indicative of the benefits of a repeal, and the damage being done each year the tax continues. Furthermore, phasing-out the tax would not jeopardize property tax relief or school finance.

Other bills discussed were SB 105, filed by Sen Estes, SB 138 (companion bill to Murphy's HB 193,) filed by Sen Perry, SB 134 filed by Schwertner, and SB 175, filed by Sen Huffines.

Questions? Contact Martha Liner (512) 463-0514

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