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Perry: Representatives of 3 Million Texans Endorse Tax Reform, Relief

Location: Austin, TX

Perry: Representatives of 3 Million Texans Endorse Tax Reform, Relief

Gov. Rick Perry today announced 23 associations representing some 3 million Texans have endorsed the Perry-Sharp tax reform and property tax relief plan. The diverse associations that have praised the plan - from manufacturers to restaurant owners - represent a broad cross section of the Texas economy.

"By publicly expressing their support for the commission's tax reform and relief plan, these organizations have taken a bold stand in favor of a fairer business tax without loopholes, reliable funding for education, and $6 billion in property tax relief for Texas families and employers," Perry said. "The message these associations join me in sending to the legislature is clear - this plan is the best plan, the best approach, and the best chance Texas has ever had to fix our school finance system and give property owners the tax relief they deserve."

Perry thanked the association leaders for their support and said it was rare to see such a broad coalition of supporters unite around a single legislative proposal.

"If lawmakers join the members of the bipartisan commission and the millions of Texans who belong to the associations represented today, Texans will save $1.5 billion in their overall tax burden, and that includes families in every income bracket who don't smoke," Perry said.

While some have expressed concern that property tax rates as well as business tax rate could rise above the rates in the plan in future years, Perry noted that the same is true if lawmakers simply use the revenue surplus to buy down property taxes. Using the entire surplus to buy down taxes provides significantly less property tax relief for only one year and is a recipe either for a big tax hike next year or a return to sky-high school tax rates in the 2007 Tax Year, he said.

"If we don't reform Texas taxes now, revenues from the franchise tax will drop dramatically as businesses restructure, and every interest group under the sun will come to this legislature next January hungry for a piece of a budgetary pie that is several billion dollars short of the needed ingredients," Perry said.

Endorsement of the plan by so many associations, Perry added, indicates "a clear consensus is emerging, momentum for our plan is growing and victory for taxpayers and schoolchildren is on the near horizon."

Among those backing the Perry-Sharp plan are manufacturers and service providers, retailers and realtors, education leaders and taxpayer advocates, and millions of Texans from all walks of life.

"I never thought I would see the day when members of the service sector joined members of the manufacturing community in support of the same tax reform plan," Perry said. "This unique coalition of support is evidence that this tax reform proposal is the fairest plan yet to be offered to fund our schools and reform our tax structure."

Groups supporting the plan include:

* American Forest and Paper Association
* Automotive Parts and Service Association
* Association of Chemical Industry of Texas
* Greater Houston Partnership
* Hispanics for Opportunity, Progress and Education
* Non Profits for Tax Fairness - Texas
* Texas Airline Association
* Texas Apartment Association
* Texas Association of Builders
* Texas Association of Manufacturers
* Texas Association of Realtors
* Texas Credit Union League
* Texas Chemical Council
* Texas Forest Industries Council
* Texas Industrial Areas Foundation Network
* Texas Motor Transportation Association
* Texas Oil & Gas Association
* Texas Restaurant Association
* Texas School Alliance
* Texas State Association of Firefighters
* Texas Taxpayers and Research Association
* Texas Trial Lawyers Association
* Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas

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