House Considers $10 Billion Tax Bill

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Most Texans would see their tax burden increase under a sweeping proposal the state House considered today.

The chamber lumbered toward a vote on a $10 billion tax bill that would restructure the way businesses pay taxes, while levying a slate of new consumer taxes on Texans.

Last-minute changes in the legislation slowed completion of the measure yesterday.

When the House met again today, Speaker Tom Craddick gave lawmakers time to huddle and informally ask questions about the measure of his staff members and key legislators.

The proposal is an effort to replace revenue from a school property tax relief measure.

If the measure is approved, Texans would be paying a higher sales tax, up to 7.25 percent from the current 6.25 percent.

Consumers would also pay an additional three percent tax on
snack foods.
And smokers face a new one-dollar tax on a pack of cigarettes.

Craddick says he expects the House to approve the proposal late
today or over the weekend.

Most of the revenue in the legislation would come from businesses, since the bill closes many of the loopholes businesses had used to avoid paying franchise taxes.